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Comprehension checks, clarifications, and corrections in an emergency call with a nonnative speaker of Swedish
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Child Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Work and Working Life. Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Sociology. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Learning, Aesthetics, Natural science. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences. (Pedagogiskt arbete, Educational practice)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2314-4942
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Bilingualism, ISSN 1367-0069, E-ISSN 1756-6878, Vol. 17, no 2, 205-220 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article reports on a case study of an emergency call with a 12-year-old girl, who is hearably not a native speaker of Swedish. A sequential analysis of the recorded call revealed two interesting interactional practices through which the participants can be seen to pursue mutual understanding. The first type of practice involves the participants’ orientation toward potential or projected problems of comprehension and should therefore be understood in terms of preemptive management of mutual understanding. This is chiefly accomplished by either party (a) making sure that the other party has understood; (b) checking the correctness and adequacy of one’s own understanding; and finally (c) displaying one’s own understanding of the other party en passant, that is, without requiring the other party’s confirmation. The second type of practice, commonly known as conversational repair, is used to deal with established problems of comprehension. The methods through which these problems are managed involve (d) repeating and paraphrasing preceding turns or their problematic fragments; (e) finding alternative ways of talking about demonstrably noncomprehended information; and finally (f) postponing such problematic exchanges. The study demonstrates that despite the institutionally asymmetric character of emergency calls, both participants are actively engaged in working toward intersubjectivity, and the analysis identifies several different ways through which the parties orient to and handle interactional trouble so as to secure mutual comprehension in a socially smooth yet efficient manner.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 17, no 2, 205-220 p.
Keyword [en]
Adult–child interaction, clarifications, comprehension, conversation analysis, emergency calls, institutional interaction, nonnative speaker
National Category
Humanities Sociology Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-78044DOI: 10.1177/1367006912441420ISI: 000318794900006OAI: diva2:530942
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond
Available from: 2012-06-05 Created: 2012-06-05 Last updated: 2015-09-22

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Osvaldsson, KarinPersson Thunqvist, DanielCromdal, Jakob
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Department of Child StudiesFaculty of Arts and SciencesWork and Working LifeEducation and SociologyLearning, Aesthetics, Natural scienceFaculty of Educational Sciences
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International Journal of Bilingualism
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