Lexical learning in an English/Japanese bilingual lunch conversation
Adopting a single case analysis, this article examines how the learning of the Japanese word burikko is occasioned in a bilingual lunch conversation through enactments that are employed for three interactional purposes: (a) renewal of laughter, (b) vocabulary explanation (VE), and (c) demonstration of understanding. The interactional analysis is enhanced by Praat to respecify the role of prosody in enactments. I first describe how burikko, the laughable of a humor sequence, becomes a learnable through a repair sequence. I then analyze a reinitiated joking sequence, where the VE recipient categorizes one of the co-participants as burikko and escalates the categorization through multimodal enactments. I argue that this jocular mockery, occasioning a demonstration of understanding, exhibits that the learning opportunity has been taken. Furthermore, I discuss how a repair work embedded within a larger humor-oriented activity may afford resources for language learning outside of the classroom, while sacrificing progressivity for intersubjectivity. The fact that the VE recipient, after intersubjectivity has been achieved, resumes the original activity of pursuing humor through the same means employed for the explanation of the target word offers interesting implications for CA-SLA and pragmatics.
Keywords: CA-SLA, vocabulary explanation, enactment, jocular mockery, Japanese as a foreign language
Published online: 06 October 2021
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