Hoàng Trà My


This study is to construct and describe opening sequences of English and
Vietnamese conversations. The data were 120 conversational opening sections (60 English
and 60 Vietnamese) gathered from movies. The method of qualitative content analysis is
applied to code the data manually to find out opening sequences. Then, the method of
conversation analysis is resorted to in describing these sequences. The findings display that
English and Vietnamese opening sections follow three sequences: summons-answer,
greeting, and phatic communication. Generally, the summons-answer and phatic
communication sequences are exploited fairly equally by both Vietnamese and English
speakers whilst the greeting sequence is much more preferred by Vietnamese ones.
However, in details, the structures of and the content said in each sequence are extremely
different between the two languages. These differences reveal that conversational opening
is mainly to increase the work efficiency by English subjects but both to increase the work
efficiency and to rapport by Vietnamese ones.


content analysis; conversation analysis; conversational opening; conversational opening section; opening sequences

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