Negotiating topic changes:native and non-native English speakers in conversation

Morris-Adams, Muna K (2016). Negotiating topic changes:native and non-native English speakers in conversation. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 26 (3), pp. 366-383.


There is a tendency to view conversations involving non‐native speakers (NNSs) as inevitably fraught with problems, including an inability to handle topic management. This article, in contrast, will focus on effective topic changes made by non‐native speakers during informal conversations with native speakers of English. A micro‐analysis of ten conversations revealed several ways of shifting conversational topics; however, the article concentrates on those strategies which the participants used to effect a particular type of topic move, namely ‘marked topic changes’, where there is no connection at all with previous talk. The findings show how these topic changes were jointly negotiated, and that the non‐native speakers’ contributions to initiating new topics were competently managed.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences > English
Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Language Research at Aston (CLaRA)
Languages & Social Sciences
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Morris-Adams, M. (2016). Negotiating topic changes: native and non-native speakers of English in conversation. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Early View, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: informal conversations,intercultural communication,non-native speakers,topic change,topic management,Linguistics and Language,Language and Linguistics
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
https://onlinel ... 1111/ijal.12134 (Publisher URL)
Published Date: 2016-11-03
Published Online Date: 2016-02-18
Authors: Morris-Adams, Muna K



Version: Accepted Version

| Preview

Export / Share Citation


Additional statistics for this record