Graduate School of Languages
and Cultures, Nagoya University
email: m.hayashi (at) nagoya-u (dot) jp
My research focuses on examining language as it is used in everyday conversation. One of the main themes of my work is to explore structural orderliness in language use (which we think of as 'grammar') as an emergent, embodied,and activity-bound phenomenon. This theme is pursued in my book, Joint Utterance Construction in Japanese Conversation (2003) as well as in a number of journal articles and book chapters (see my Publications). My work draws on Conversation Analysis as a framework for discovering orderly ways in which humans deploy language to participate in everyday activities and jointly construct the social world they inhabit.
My research reconceptualizes 'grammar' as emergent, arising as a complex response to its ecological setting - communicative and interactional needs speakers face in participating in everyday activities. Grammar, in this view, not only provides resources for organizing linguistic elements in utterances, but its very structure emerges out of recurrent patterns of verbal (and nonverbal) practices shaped by interactional activities speakers engage in. My work thus challenges the assumption (often held by traditional linguists) that grammar is an atemporal, autonomous mental structure independent of communicative language use.