Comprehension checks, clarifications, and corrections in an emergency call with a nonnative speaker of Swedish
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
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.
Adult–child interaction, clarifications, comprehension, conversation analysis, emergency calls, institutional interaction, nonnative speaker
National CategoryHumanities Sociology Communication Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-78044DOI: 10.1177/1367006912441420ISI: 000318794900006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-78044DiVA: diva2:530942