Topic shifts in conversations: Focus on Malaysian Chinese Teenagers

Hei, P Sharimila Bai and Kuang, Ching (2011) Topic shifts in conversations: Focus on Malaysian Chinese Teenagers. SARJANA, 26. pp. 101-118.

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Abstract

Conversations serve as a means for people to interact and exchange ideas. In that regard, it is not surprising that speakers may shift from talking about one topic to another within conversations. Focusing on Malaysian Chinese teenagers, this study aims to identify the various topic shifts which occurs in casual conversations. In this qualitative study, data was recorded by the participants during their daily discussions outside of class. Four tapes of their conversations lasting about 30 minutes each were accumulated and Jefferson's (1978a) notation for transcribing was used with adaptations to suit the depth of this study. Crow's (1983)typology of topic shifts (i.e. topic initiation, topic shading, topic renewal, and topic insertion)was used as the framework for analysis. Analysis indicates that three types of topic shifts predominate. Male participants performed more topic insertion and topic shading whereas female participants performed more topic insertion. In addition, nine strategies were employed by the participants in the process with the statement and question strategies being more prominent than others.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: topic shifts, teenagers, conversation, strategies, Malaysian Chinese
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Depositing User: MR. ADNAN YAHYA
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2011
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2012
URI: http://repository.um.edu.my/id/eprint/15558

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