Abstract for Two Preferences in the Organization of Reference to Persons in Conversation and Their Interaction
Harvey Sacks and Emanuel A. Schegloff: "Two
Preferences in the Organization of Reference to
Persons in Conversation and Their Interaction,"
in G. Psathas (ed.), Everyday Language: Studies in
Ethnomethodology (New York: Irvington Publishers,
Inc., 1979) 15-21.
In conversation, persons have occasion to refer to
other persons. Sacks and Schegloff examine here
two preferences in such references. The first,
minimization, involves use of a single reference
form and the second, recipient design, involves
the preference for "recognitionals," e.g. name.
Names may be used not only because the person is
known but also in preparation for subsequent use
in the conversation even when the person is not
already known by the recipient/hearer. When
recognition is in doubt, a recognitional with an
accompanying (questioning) upward intonational
contour, followed by a briefpause (or "try-
marker") may be used. The argument advanced by the
authors is that members' uses of these, and
succeeding try-markers in sequences, provide
evidence for the preferential structure of efforts
to achieve recognition in reference to other
persons in the course of a conversation. Thus, the
close examination of members' conversational
interaction can reveal not only the organized,
methodical practices they use, but also the
structure of preferred solutions to particular
problems that arise in conversation.