Book reviews

Book reviews Jan Svennevig, Getting Acquainted in Conversation: A Study of Initial Interactions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1999, 383 pp. This book is about first conversations. It describes many an interlocutor's experience of `hitting it off' with another almost immediately (p. 1). Svennevig goes on: `... the feeling of success is often explained by the participants as "vibrations" or "chemistry", or other factors beyond their control' (ibid.), which I think would be most difficult to describe scientifically. The aforementioned situation of `hitting it off', or the `good vibes' situation, has probably occurred to most of us on one occasion or another (romantically, with a new boss, meeting one's in-laws for the first time, meeting a new neighbor, etc.). In actuality, this has happened to me many times something just `clicks'. It is important to keep in mind, however, that new acquaintances have certain constraints on what they can talk about as well as to how a topic can be introduced into a conversation. Thus, the following conversation would be most awkward (and not occur) among newly-introduced persons: *`Hello.' `Hi.' `What's your name?' `My name is Alan, and guess what I did last night?' Native speakers are usually very sensitive when meeting http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Multilingua - Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication de Gruyter

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG
ISSN
0167-8507
eISSN
1613-3684
DOI
10.1515/mult.2003.006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Jan Svennevig, Getting Acquainted in Conversation: A Study of Initial Interactions. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 1999, 383 pp. This book is about first conversations. It describes many an interlocutor's experience of `hitting it off' with another almost immediately (p. 1). Svennevig goes on: `... the feeling of success is often explained by the participants as "vibrations" or "chemistry", or other factors beyond their control' (ibid.), which I think would be most difficult to describe scientifically. The aforementioned situation of `hitting it off', or the `good vibes' situation, has probably occurred to most of us on one occasion or another (romantically, with a new boss, meeting one's in-laws for the first time, meeting a new neighbor, etc.). In actuality, this has happened to me many times something just `clicks'. It is important to keep in mind, however, that new acquaintances have certain constraints on what they can talk about as well as to how a topic can be introduced into a conversation. Thus, the following conversation would be most awkward (and not occur) among newly-introduced persons: *`Hello.' `Hi.' `What's your name?' `My name is Alan, and guess what I did last night?' Native speakers are usually very sensitive when meeting

Journal

Multilingua - Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communicationde Gruyter

Published: Apr 8, 2003

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