Conversation Analysis

Conversation Analysis (CA) is an approach to the study of social interaction and language. Despite its name, the scope of CA is not limited to conversation as a genre of discourse (small talk, gossip) but encompasses any human activity that involves an exchange of turns at talk and other meaningful conduct. CA is committed to the close examination of social interaction in its sequential, forward-feeding development. Interaction unfolds as a chain of initiating and responding actions. This chain is a source of internal evidence for the meaning of social behavior as it exposes the understandings that participants themselves give of what one another is doing. CA’s sequential frame of analysis also shapes the basic questions that guide CA research: what is a participant doing by speaking or moving in a certain way at a given moment? What evidence is there for this in the conduct that precedes, co-occurs with, and follows that stretch of behavior? Such an analysis requires the close and repeated inspection of audio and video recordings of naturally occurring interaction, supported by transcripts and other forms of annotation. Distributional regularities are complemented by a demonstration of participants’ orientation to deviant behavior, which brings to the surface the underlying norms of social interaction.

The CA Working Group continues to foster the growing community of conversation analytic scholars through a facilitation of scholarly exchange between faculty and graduate students within the Department. We are proud of our relations with other Sociology Working Groups and with the broader UCLA community. Our working group continues to attract language and social interaction scholars from a range of allied departments and centers at the University. 

Our primary goal is to establish and strengthen ties between graduate students and faculty working in our field within the Department of Sociology.  At present the CA faculty have a range of courses and data analysis seminars detailing the substance and methodology of conversation analysis. The working group is distinctive in providing a forum in which students can try out ideas for potential publications, showcase their own data sets, and test run relatively developed papers for conferences and symposia.  Correspondingly, the working group provides students and faculty with an opportunity to witness and provide critical feedback on works in progress by faculty and other scholars.  Click here to join the CAWG email list.

— Fall 2020 Events —

Due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, all scheduled events will take place over Zoom. Kindly sign up to the CAWG listserv in order to receive links and credentials to join the talks. 

November 5 5:15 PM

"Building in an Out: The Use of Contingencies in Making Arrangements"

Keith Cox

PhD Student, UCLA Department of Sociology


November 12 5:15 PM

"Understanding the nature of uptalk in heritage Spanish"

Ji Young Kim

Associate Professor, UCLA Department of Spanish and Portuguese


December 3 5:15 PM

"CA in/on Spanish: A conversation about the state of the art"

Luis Manuel Olguin

PhD Candidate, UCLA Department of Sociology

Verónica González Temer
Assistant Professor, Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación, Chile

Alexa Bolaños Carpio
Assistant Professor, Universidad de Costa Rica


December 10 5:15 PM
Prosody and Exclamation

Jessica Rett

Professor, UCLA Department of Linguistics


This list was last updated on October 16 2020 at 19:12


2020-21 CAWG Coordinators: 

Kristella Montiegel (

Luis Manuel Olguin (

Professor Giovanni Rossi (