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Soc. 136A, Winter 2019
Assignment 3
Prof. Kevin Whitehead
Due: March 5
Conversational Repair
Part 1: (approx. two pages)
For each extract below:
1. Describe the “formal” features of the repair done at the arrowed turn in each of the
extracts below, including the type of repair (self- vs. other-initiated), where it is
initiated (same-turn, transition space, next turn, third position), the trouble source, the
repair solution, and the operation it implements.
2. Describe what the repair(s) accomplishes. “Why this particular repair now?” Describe
what’s going on in the interaction, and then explain how the repair (indicated by the
arrow) contributes to the action of the Doctor’s turn in extract (1), and how the two
repairs (indicated by arrows a and b) contribute to the sequence of actions in extract
(2). Remember to be as specific as possible in making your observations. [Hint: Try
first to figure out the unfolding sequence(s) of action – what is going on in each
extract – before focusing in on the repair segment itself.]
(1)
1 Doctor:
2 ®
3
Pat:
4 Doctor:
5
6
7
Okay. Now- in regards to your breast ahh problem.
I think you have- that we’re facing a breast cancer.
hmm.
eh- That’s (.) ah- my: ah clinical experience on
examining other people with the same problem
(point-) ah indicates to me that this is most
likely breast cancer.
(2)
1
Mike:
2
Vic:
3
4
Mike:
5
6
Rich:
7
Vic:
8 a®Vic:
9
Rich:
10 b®Vic:
11
Rich:
12
Vic:
13
You have a tank I like tuh tuh- I- I [like[Yeh I gotta fa:wty::
I hadda fawty? A fifty anna twu[nny:: an’ two ten::s
[Wuh- Wuddiyuh doing
with [(them.)
[But those were uh::: [Alex’s tanks.
[anna fi:ve.
Hah?
Those’re Alex’s tanks weren’t they?
Pardon me?
Weren’t- didn’t they belong tuh Al[ex?
[No: Alex has no tanks
Alex is tryin’ tuh buy my tank.
1
Part 2: (approx. three pages)
Locate and describe as many repairs as you can find in the following extract. Make sure
to characterize what each is designed to accomplish and where possible describe any
interconnections among the repairs. [The recording for this extract is available on
GauchoSpace.]
01
Mark:
It seems thet they go:t:u:m (0.7) There’s rumors goin’
02
aroun’ school y’know like crazy. ˙hh People on thei:r floor
03
think thet- we are having en affai:r, the- three of us.
04
Sher:
05
06
Who.
(0.4)
Mark:
07
Th- these guys on the- on their floor on the tenth floor.
(0.5)
08
Mark:
09
Sher:
10
I d’know who they a:re [but th-
[The three] of who: though.
(0.4)
11
Mark:
Uh the two girls en I,
12
Sher:
Oh.
13
(0.4)
14
Ruth:
15
Kar:
16
Mark:
17
Sher:
18
]
[Oh-huh ]
[Oh well] two et on[ce huh.=
[Isn’t that (we[ird
though?)
]
=[I thought it wz th]e
three of us.
This assignment is worth 25% of your course grade (Part 1 = 10%; Part 2 = 15%). Please
type your work, double-spaced, with one-inch margins; staple or clip pages together. The
Assignment is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, March 5. Please be sure to put
both your name and lab time on the front page of your assignment.
2
Template for analyzing repair segments:
[Insert part #/extract #/repair # here – clearly identify which instance of repair
you are describing/analyzing!]
Formal features of the repair segment:
Type of repair:
Where it is initiated:
Trouble source:
Repair solution:
Operation (if applicable):
What the repair accomplishes:
The Analysis of
Conversational Interaction
(Lecture 13: Introduction
to Repair)
Soc 136A/236
Outline for Today
1. Review
◦ Generic Interactional “Problems”
◦ Adjacency Pairs
◦ Sequence Organization
◦ Sequence Expansion
2. What is Intersubjectivity?
3. Adjacency Pairs and
Intersubjectivity
4. Introduction to Repair
Review: Generic Interactional
“Problems”
CA focuses on these “problems” and their
“practice(d)” solutions (Schegloff 2006)
— Turn-Taking (“Who should talk/move/act
next, and when?”)
— Sequence Organization (“How do successive
turns/actions fit together coherently?”)
— Repair (“How to deal with trouble in
speaking, hearing or understanding?”)
— Word selection (“How do elements of a turn
get selected?”)
— Overall Structural Organization (“How does
the interaction get structured?”)
Review: Sociological
Origins of CA
Some “big” sociological questions/
problems CA relates to or addresses:
— The
“Problem of Order” (Hobbes,
Parsons)
— The “Problem of Intersubjectivity”
— The
social constitution of knowledge
— The nature of social action
— The nature and operation of basic
structures and practices of interaction
Review: Adjacency Pairs
—
—
—
—
—
A sequence of two actions (e.g., questionanswer),
adjacently placed; that is, one after another,
produced by different speakers,
these two turns are relatively ordered (FPPs
and SPPs),
pair-type related (particular FPPs will make
relevant one or more type-related SPPs)
Rule: Given the recognizable production of a
FPP, on its first possible completion its speaker
should stop, and a next speaker (often
someone selected as next by the FPP – see
lecture 7!) should start and should produce a
SPP of the same type.
Review: Sequence Organization
A basic structure for social action: The turns that
compose each sequence type will be designed to
manage the specific contingencies associated
with course of action organized through it, and
yet across all of these types, the basic
organizational form remains consistent.
Review: Sequence Expansion
Example: An invitation sequence:
FPP(pre)à pre-invitation
SPP(pre)à go-ahead (or block)
FPP(base)à invitation
SPP(base)à accept (or reject)
Insert
expansion
Insert
expansion
FPP(post)à deal with unresolved matters
Insert
SPP(post)à response
expansion
What is Intersubjectivity?
Recall: Intersubjectivity = mutual
understanding
— Intersubjectivity is often taken for granted
as “given” a priori, e.g., through sharedin-common knowledge of language,
gestures, objects in the world, etc.
— However, as we have seen already,
troubles in speaking, hearing,
understanding can and do occur!
— In light of this, intersubjectivity is plainly a
contingent accomplishment
— How, then, is it accomplished/maintained
on an ongoing basis in interaction?
—
What is Intersubjectivity?
Sacks (1992, vol. 1:379): We have “a relatively
formal apparatus for a ‘local check’ – by which I mean
at any given point – on the fact that what it is that’s
just been said, is understood. Now that’s
tremendously important. What we have is a
machinery that’s built in, that holds for any
conversation and for anything that might be being
talked about, that provides a demonstration and
provides for work that will demonstrate, that a
speaker understands what a last speaker says. Where
such a demonstration does not involve time out from
the conversation, i.e., building a meta-conversation
like: ‘We were in an automobile discussion,’ then, ‘I
take it by an automobile discussion you mean…’ ,
which is a theoretically possible way that one might
have tests of understanding built.”
Adjacency Pairs: An “Architecture
for Intersubjectivity”
—
Adjacency pairs provide a structure through
which intersubjectivity can continuously be
“publicly displayed and continuously updated”
(Heritage 1984:259) – hence, an “architecture
of intersubjectivity” (see ex. 1):
◦ “first turn” (e.g., FPP): Speaker (A) can monitor
their own talk to assess whether recipient (B) will
be able to hear/understand
◦ “second turn” (e.g., SPP): Response by B displays
whether/how s/he has heard/ understood A’s
preceding turn
◦ “third [next] turn” (e.g., post-expansion):
Continuing the progressivity of the interaction
tacitly confirms mutual understanding
Introduction to Repair
What is repair?
— Practices dealing with ostensible trouble
in speaking, hearing, or understanding
the talk
— Involves a suspension of the
progressivity (further development) of
the turn constructional unit, the turn, or
the sequence and the action to which
it/they are otherwise devoted
— Utterances are now occupied instead
with dealing with the trouble of
speaking, hearing or understanding (ex.
2, 3)
Introduction to Repair
Where is repair?
—
—
—
Repair is an outcome – the “fixing” of a
trouble (a.k.a. “repair solution”)
The practices used to produce this outcome
start before the repair itself is completed
Repair segments thus consist of identifiable
phases:
1. Production of a “trouble source” or
“repairable” (note: anything can potentially
be a trouble source!)
2. Initiation of repair (by same or other
speaker) – thereby treating a trouble source
as such
3. Practices for repair of trouble (the repair
outcome)
Introduction to Repair
Where is repair?
The same structure described above provides a
systematic (and “continuously updated”) set of
places where repair can be initiated:
— “same[first]-turn”: A can see a (potential) trouble
in their own talk and initiate repair to address it
(ex. 4, 5)
◦ Transition space: After reaching a TRP, but before
B has responded, A sees a (potential) trouble in
their talk and initiates repair (ex. 6, 7)
— “second [“next”] turn”: B can initiate repair on a
trouble in 1st turn that A has not repaired (ex. 8,
9)
— “third position [turn]”: A can initiate repair on any
trouble with the 1st turn displayed by B in the 2nd
turn (ex. 10, 11)
Introduction to Repair
Where is repair?
The same structure described above provides
a systematic (and “continuously updated”) set
of places where repair can be initiated (“repair
initiation opportunity spaces”)
Every turn therefore “trails” its own repair
initiation opportunity space:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Turn
Turn
Turn
Turn
1
2
3
4
{(T1)
{(T2)
{(T3)
{(T4)
same turn}
same; (T1) next turn}
same; (T2) next; (T1) third}
same; (T3) next; (T2) third}
Introduction to Repair
“Self” vs. “Other” in repair:
The above structure also intersects with who
initiates repair, and where/when:
1. Self-initiated repair: Initiated by the speaker of
the trouble source, most commonly in the same
turn as the trouble source (“same-turn repair;”
ex. 4, 5; Lecture 13), but also occasionally in the
transition space (ex. 6, 7) or the “third turn”
(“third position repair;” ex. 10, 11; Lecture 15)
2. Other-initiated repair: Initiated by a recipient of
the trouble source, typically in the “second turn”
(ex. 8, 9; Lecture 14)
(Note: Repair, whether self- or other-initiated, can
also be initiated at some later point in an interaction,
but this is not based on systematically/structurally
provided opportunities for doing so)
Introduction to Repair
“Self” vs. “Other” in repair:
Both self-initiation and other-initiation of
repair ordinarily (but not always) result in
self-repair
— That is, both types of repair initiation are
designed to allow for the speaker of the
trouble source to be the one to fix the
trouble (“fixing their own problems”)
— Hence, there is a structural “preference
for self-repair” (Schegloff, Jefferson &
Sacks 1977) independently of who has
initiated the repair
—
Introduction to Repair
Repair vs. Error
— Why do we use the term “repair” rather
than “correction”? Why do we use the
terms ”trouble source” or “repairable”
rather than error? Isn’t repair about
correction of errors?
◦ “Error” without correction (ex. 12)
◦ Repair without error (ex. 13)
◦ Correction without repair (ex. 14)
— Other
things besides “errors” are
handled by repair – anything can turn
out to be treated as a trouble
source/repairable
Introduction to Repair
If repair is not based on error, then how
do we know what the trouble source is?
— The repair process must deal with
location of the trouble source, and with
the sort of trouble it involves (e.g.,
speaking vs. hearing vs. understanding)
— The practices involved in repair provide
a range of resources for doing this
(which we will consider in the next 3
lectures)
— i.e., it is the participants’ problem, and
the participants’ practices provide
(potential) solutions
Introduction to Repair
The following aspects of the organization
of repair should be considered in
analyzing repair segments:
— Self- vs. Other-Initiated?
— Where? (same-turn, transition space,
next turn, third turn)
— Trouble source/repairable?
◦ For same-turn repair: Repair operation?
(see Lecture 14)
— Repair solution?
— Action the repair implements?
— Anything else in the repair segment?
The Analysis of
Conversational Interaction
(Lecture 14: Same-Turn Repair)
Soc 136A/236
Outline for Today
1. Review: Introduction to Repair
2. Introduction to Same-Turn Repair
3. Repair Prefacing
4. Some Same-Turn Repair Operations:
◦ Replacing
◦ Inserting
◦ Deleting
◦ Aborting
◦ Recycling
◦ Reformatting
◦ Searching
5. Post-Repair Commentary
Review: Introduction to Repair
What is repair?
— Practices dealing with ostensible trouble
in speaking, hearing, or understanding
the talk
— Involves a suspension of the
progressivity (further development) of
the turn constructional unit, the turn, or
the sequence and the action to which
it/they are otherwise devoted
— Utterances are now occupied instead
with dealing with the trouble of
speaking, hearing or understanding
Review: Introduction to Repair
Where is repair?
—
—
—
Repair is an outcome – the “fixing” of a
trouble (a.k.a. “repair solution”)
The practices used to produce this outcome
start before the repair itself is completed
Repair segments thus consist of identifiable
phases:
1. Production of a “trouble source” or
“repairable” (note: anything can potentially
be a trouble source!)
2. Initiation of repair (by same or other
speaker) – thereby treating a trouble source
as such
3. Practices for repair of trouble (the repair
outcome)
Review: Introduction to Repair
Where is repair?
The same structure described above provides
a systematic (and “continuously updated”) set
of places where repair can be initiated (“repair
initiation opportunity spaces”)
Every turn therefore “trails” its own repair
initiation opportunity space:
A:
B:
A:
B:
Turn
Turn
Turn
Turn
1
2
3
4
{(T1)
{(T2)
{(T3)
{(T4)
same turn}
same; (T1) next turn}
same; (T2) next; (T1) third}
same; (T3) next; (T2) third}
Review: Introduction to Repair
The following aspects of the organization
of repair should be considered in
analyzing repair segments:
— Self- vs. Other-Initiated?
— Where? (same-turn, transition space,
next turn, third turn)
— Trouble source/repairable?
◦ For same-turn repair: Repair operation?
(see Lecture 14)
— Repair solution?
— Action the repair implements?
— Anything else in the repair segment?
Same-Turn Repair: Introduction
Same-turn repairs are most commonly
(but not exclusively) same-TCU repairs
— Same-turn repair segments can include
the following components:
—
◦ Repair initiation (the point at which the
progressivity of the talk is interrupted to
initiate repair)
◦ Repair prefacing
◦ Repair solution (implemented through repair
operations) or failure (abandonment of
attempt to repair – see #5 below)
◦ Post-repair commentary
◦ (Note: the trouble source is not part of the
repair segment!)
Repair Prefacing
—
—
—
Produced after repair initiation, or instead of it
Projects repair is to follow; establishes
relationship between the projected repair
solution and the trouble source, thus indicating
what kind of repair this will be
Common types of repair prefacing include:
◦ ”no” or “not X” (indicates error + correction; ex.
1, 2)
◦ “or” (indicates “better alternative”; ex. 3, 4)
◦ “well” (treats trouble source as inadequate but
not wholly wrong; ex. 5, 6)
◦ Other types include “actually”, “I mean”, “oops!”
◦ “Double prefacing” can also be done – e.g.,
[or/well + actually]; [or/well + I mean];
[or/well/actually + not X]
Same-Turn Repair Operations
Methods speakers use to deal with a trouble
source in an ongoing turn-at-talk (Schegloff
2013):
1. Replacing (or “replacement repair”)
— Speaker substitutes an element of a TCU
(wholly or partially articulated) for a
different element
— Retains the sense of the TCU as “the same
utterance” while altering some element(s)
thereof (ex. 7, 8)
Same-Turn Repair Operations
Methods speakers use to deal with a trouble
source in an ongoing turn-at-talk (Schegloff
2013):
2. Inserting (“insertion repair”)
— Including one or more new elements that
were not initially present into the turn-sofar, thereby modifying the turn in some way
— Can serve (among other things) to
specify/disambiguate an event, object,
name, etc. being referred to (ex. 9, 10), to
intensify/strengthen a formulation (ex. 11,
12), or to mitigate/downgrade a
formulation (ex. 13, 14)
Same-Turn Repair Operations
Methods speakers use to deal with a trouble
source in an ongoing turn-at-talk (Schegloff
2013):
3. Deleting (“deletion repair”)
— Removal of one or more elements already
articulated in the turn-so-far, thereby
modifying the turn in some way (ex. 15,
16)
Same-Turn Repair Operations
Methods speakers use to deal with a trouble
source in an ongoing turn-at-talk (Schegloff
2013):
4. Searching (“word searches”)
— Hesitations, hitches, etc. displaying
difficulty in producing a word or formulation
for a turn-in-progress
— Target word(s) are commonly names of
people, places, institutions, etc. (ex. 17)
— Can also be exploited to provide for coproduction of “delicate” actions (ex. 18, 19
– Assignment 1!)
Same-Turn Repair Operations
Methods speakers use to deal with a trouble
source in an ongoing turn-at-talk (Schegloff
2013):
5. Aborting
— Abandoning the production of the TCU prior
to bringing it to completion
— Includes:
◦ Abandoning what is being said altogether
(ex. 20), even if potentially trying it again
at some later point (ex. 21)
◦ Abandoning the way a TCU was
saying/doing something in favor of another
way of doing it (ex. 22)
Same-Turn Repair Operations
Methods speakers use to deal with a trouble
source in an ongoing turn-at-talk (Schegloff
2013):
6. Recycling
— Repeating a stretch of talk (typically less
than a full TCU) the speaker has just
previously said
— Commonly used at the emergence of a
“surviving turn” from overlapping talk (ex.
23; also see Lecture 7!)
Same-Turn Repair Operations
Methods speakers use to deal with a trouble
source in an ongoing turn-at-talk (Schegloff
2013):
7. Reformatting
— Change from grammatical form initially
underway in a TCU-in-progress to a
different grammatical form
— Different forms can convey different
presuppositions, stances, claims to
knowledge, relationships between speakers,
etc. (ex. 24, 25, 26)
Post-Repair Commentary
—
After a repair solution, but before
resuming the progressivity of the turn that
was interrupted by the repair, speakers
may produce post-repair commentary
that, e.g., reflects further on the trouble
source, reconfirms the repair solution, or
other actions that “look back” toward the
trouble source and/or its repair (ex. 26)

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