Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Linguistics (Interdepartmental Program)

First Advisor

Mary Jill Brody


This investigation involves analysis of cross-language encounters (CLEs), spoken discourse between native speakers (NSs) and non-native speakers (NNSs) of Spanish involved in two types of interactions: simulated service encounters and free conversation. I use a multi-tiered framework comprised of: (1) Schiffrin's (1994) functionalist approach, (2) a model of interactional grammar adapted from Ochs, Schegloff and Thompson (1996), and (3) one of the principal assumptions from conversation analysis, which focuses on the organization of interaction, while maintaining that participants' behavior provides evidence for the units, patterns and rules that are a part of all spoken interaction. Tactics and strategies examined include repetition, repair, and laughter. Repetition is discussed on five levels: (1) production, (2) comprehension, (3) discourse, (4) interpersonal, and (5) interactional (Tannen 1989). Grammatical and pragmatic aspects of repair are reinterpreted in the Vygotskyan (1986) tradition as regulation of speech and are discussed within the framework of accommodation theory (Giles 1973; Giles et al. 1987). Analysis of laughter results in the development of a new typological framework, which reveals an orderly diversity of roles of laughter in spoken interaction and highlights the relationship between laughter and 'face' (Brown and Levinson 1983; Goffman 1967). As with regulation, the face threat of laughter is shown to be contingent upon the nature of the interaction, the relationship between interlocutors and the accommodation level of participants. A central tenet of my investigation is the notion of the dialogic, which showcases the direct relationship of utterances to interlocutors, as well as to other utterances. Analysis of the negotiated interaction in these CLEs provides information that is vital to understanding the process of second language acquisition because it demonstrates: (1) how NNSs accept unknown input and how they react to feedback on their production, (2) the role of NSs in expediting the acquisition process and their contributions to a learner's developing grammar, and (3) how use of particular tactics and strategies (de Certeau 1984) can influence the balance of power in CLEs.