Debate, Dialogue, Discourse, and Diatribe are the four types of conversations. It is useful to know what style of discussion you are having while speaking with someone. You can do so based on a conversation's communication orientation (one-way or two-way street) and tone/purpose (competitive or cooperative).
One-Way Street Conversations are those where only one person speaks at a time. The other person(s) may have opinions about what was said, but they cannot respond until the speaker finishes talking. One-way streets are used when you want to make a point without listening to others' points of view. This type of conversation is most common in arguments where each side wants to tell everyone what they think should be done.
Two-Way Street Conversations include the opportunity for both speakers to talk at once. These conversations usually occur when discussing topics that are relevant to more than one person or when trying to come to a consensus. Two-way streets allow for comments to be made without being interrupted by another speaker. These discussions help people come up with new ideas or solutions to problems that have been identified.
Now that you know the parts of a conversation, let's look at some examples of each type of conversation. Remember, your goal as a conversationalist is to get others involved in the conversation. So, use your best judgment as to which type of conversation will get others engaged and interested in what you have to say.
A Grammatical and Rhetorical Glossary Conversation, according to conversation analysts, is the primary means through which individuals interact, share information, negotiate, and sustain social relationships (Discourse Analysis: An Introduction, 2012). Conversation involves the interchange of ideas between participants, who may do this directly (e.g., by speaking) or indirectly (e.g., by writing letters). In general, analysts consider conversations to be group activities that involve more than one participant and a focus on a shared topic.
Conversation analysis is a field within linguistics that studies conversations as their speakers perceive them to be meaningful. The goal is to understand how meaning is produced through speech acts such as asking questions, making assertions, expressing desires, and so forth. This may seem like a simple task for those familiar with linguistic theories, but it requires careful observation of real-world examples from a wide variety of sources. For example, an analyst might watch a conversation between two people in a cafe and note down all instances where they appear to be talking about something other than the table they are sitting at (e.g., ordering drinks, discussing events from earlier today), then search these notes for clues regarding the structure of conversations.
As its name suggests, discourse analysis is the study of narratives, including conversations.
Conversation analysis (also known as "talk-in-interaction" and ethnomethodology) is the study of talk produced during regular human interactions in sociolinguistics.
According to Brian Partridge, "a crucial issue in conversation analysis is the idea of everyday conversation as the most basic kind of speaking." Conversation, according to conversation analysts, is the primary means through which individuals interact, share information, negotiate, and sustain social relationships (Discourse Analysis: An Introduction, 2012).
Conversation analysis methodology, which entails detailed empirical studies of specific, observable interactional phenomena, is based on three fundamental theoretical assumptions: I that talk is a form of action; (ii) that action is structurally organized; and (iii) that talk creates and maintains relationships. These assumptions provide the framework within which most conversation analyses are conducted.
Talk is assumed to be an activity through which people express and attempt to achieve certain goals. People use what they know about their interlocutors' desires, abilities, and resources to select topics for discussion and to organize discussions around these topics. The organization of discussion reflects the fact that people's actions are structured by their intentions and by the constraints under which they must act. Finally, conversations are assumed to be vehicles through which people create and maintain relationships. Talk serves to establish and re-establish interpersonal connections, to resolve conflicts between individuals, and sometimes just for fun!
These assumptions underlie most conversation analyses, regardless of the research question being asked or the type of data being examined. For example, when studying how negotiations unfold over time, researchers must pay close attention to talk that occurs before, during, and after meetings. They will want to know what issues were being discussed beforehand and what was said at each stage of the negotiation process. Such information allows for the identification of patterns in talk that can help explain why some negotiations succeed while others fail.