Recipient response behaviour during Japanese storytelling: a combined quantitative/multimodal approach

  • Author / Creator
    Walker, Neill Lindsey
  • This study explores the role of speaker and listener gaze in the production of recipient responses, often called backchannels or, in Japanese, aizuchi. Using elicited narrative audio/video data, speaker gaze and recipient response behaviours were first analyzed quantitatively. The results showed that majority of recipient responses are made while the speaker is gazing at the recipient. Next, a qualitative multimodal analysis was performed on a specific type of recipient response that occurred both during and without speaker gaze. The results showed that recipients make good use of the state of the speaker’s gaze to regulate the speaker’s talk and negotiate for a pause, a repair, or a turn at talk. These findings suggest that what are currently known as backchannels are only a small part of a much larger sequential multimodal system that is inseparable from the ongoing talk.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of East Asian Studies
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Tsuyoshi Ono (East Asian Studies)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Anne Commons (East Asian Studies)
    • Genevieve Maheux-Pelletier (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)