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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Dialogue in Spanish: A Volume Co-Edited by Prof. Koike.

Posted: December 21, 2010
Book Cover

Book Cover

Dialogue is essential in our lives, since no communicative activity is fulfilled without the participation of at least two interlocutors. Even in monologue, one speaks with an interlocutor (oneself). Through dialogue we identify with others from the moment of birth. It is in this multidirectional process of linking to others that we become educated, we mature, and we realize activities in all realms of existence. Dialogue can be seen as a vastly rich area for linguistic and sociocultural investigation, a call that is addressed in Dialogue in Spanish: Studies in Functions and Contexts (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Press, 2010), a volume co-edited by Dale Koike, a professor from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at UT Austin, and Lidia Rodríguez-Alfano, a professor from the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico.

Dialogue in Spanish provides a strong theoretical and empirical foundation for the study of dialogue. This edited collection of twelve original studies contributes to a broad comprehension of dialogue in two general contexts: personal interactions among friends and family; and public speech, such as political debates, medical interviews, court translations and service encounters. This volume includes academic articles written by scholars from Canada, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, the United States, and Venezuela. Among them are, Adriana Bolívar (Universidad Central de Venezuela), Laura Camargo Fernández (University of the Balearic Islands), Nadezhda Bravo Cladera (University of Stockholm), Irene Fonte (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-México D.F.), Xosé Padilla García (Universidad de Alicante), Beatriz Valles-González (Universidad Pedagógica Libertador, Venezuela), Rodney Williamson (University of Ottawa), and Fritz G. Hensey (The University of Texas at Austin). They present an in-depth look at issues and elements of dialogue such as irony, narrativity, discourse markers, coherence, conflict and expectations.

This volume contains investigations that approach dialogue largely from perspectives derived from a broad sense of pragmatics. Background research grounds the articles in such areas as discourse analysis, pragmatics, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and linguistics. Some of the key questions that the volume addresses are: What do studies of dialogue reveal about language, with special reference to pragmatic/discursive approaches to communicative interaction in different contexts and functions? How to intervening variables – specifically, context (participants, places, relationships), functions (activities) and intentions – affect the interaction? How can these studies inform us about human communication, especially with regard to the Hispanic language and cultures?

According to Professor Koike, “the real contribution of this collection is that it is the only one in the English language that focuses on Spanish dialogue, which allows these studies to be available to an English-only public and highlights what we have learned about interaction in the Spanish language.” Given the increased contact between speakers of Spanish and other languages in the world today, the study of interaction is timely for increased efficacy of communication and socio-cultural understanding of Spanish. The study of various aspects of Spanish dialogue can help to understand the various cultural norms in the different Hispanic societies represented therein that guide their interactions. The book will prove useful to those who study conversational interaction, pragmatics, and discourse analysis as applied to various functions and contexts, and it will be of particular interest to researchers and students of linguistics, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, communications and education.

Professor Koike would be happy to answer queries about this work and can be reached at d.koike@austin.utexas.edu.

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