Non-Lexical Vocalizations

Non-Lexical Vocalizations: Intoduction to a project exploring the boundaries of language.

For more information, please see:

I've been experimenting with making videos that use popular media to explain the fundamentals of conversation analysis. These are the videos so far, and there are more in preparation. Please feel free to use them in your lectures and research.

For a list of resources, and for links to the references I mention in these videos, go to this page.

Here's an example APA citation, since online videos are an uncommon citation format: Hofstetter, E.C. [EmdoesCA]. (2016, February 22). Response Relevance [Video file]. Retrieved from

Turn-construction(al) units - TCUs

Turn-construction(al) units are the primary building blocks of everyday language use. Every time we speak, we use these components to 'construct' our turns, and we project and recognize possible TCU ending points as part of understanding when it's our's or someone else's turn to talk. Any speaker of a language already knows how to use TCUs - this is an introduction to what they are, and how we use them.

Also probably the only time someone says 'dun dun dun' about TCUs to date.

Response Relevance

Is Olaf from 'Frozen' a conversation analyst? Find out how Olaf highlights a fundamental principle of conversations: every time we speak, we create 'response relevance' for further talking.


We are constantly fixing our speech, and each other's speech, in conversation. This goes way beyond annoying grammar corrections, such as, "You mean, 'Jane and I went to the gym.'" Every day, we mend problems with understanding or hearing that come up when we talk. Conversation analysts call this 'repair'. It's also opportunity for hilarity...

Action Ascription

People think that the important thing about words is what they ‘mean’. In fact, what matters is what words do. Every utterance we speak achieves action (sometimes more than one). As conversationalists, we can ascribe (‘determine’ or ‘label’) the action that other speakers are doing, and respond with our own actions.

Jefferson Transcription 101

What do all those symbols mean in conversation analytic transcripts? This video gives a quick run-down of the use of common Jefferson transcription symbols, with examples!