Abstract for Discourse, Pragmatics, Conversation, Analysis

Emanuel A. Schegloff: "Discourse, Pragmatics, 
Conversation, Analysis,"Discourse Studies 1:4, 
405-35, 1999.

In a period given to emphasizing diversity among
humans, we would do well to explore diversity 
among forms of discourse and among forms of 
talk-in-interaction in particular. Among the 
speech-exchange systems, ordinary conversation has
been claimed to be distinctive and fundamental, 
but questions have been raised about both claims.
The resources for discriminating among speech- 
exchange systems are located in such generic
organizations of practice as turn-taking, sequence
organization, the organization of repair and the 
overall structural organization of episodes of 
interaction. I try to show that 'conversation' as 
a distinctive speech-exchange system is real and 
is not only a residual category, and that it is to
be understood as the 'basic' speech exchange
system, in part by reference to the distinctive
turn-taking organization (among others) through
which it is implemented. The 'motivation' for 
having developed a formal account of this turn- 
taking organization is recounted, and that formal 
account is defended for its usability in the 
analytic explication of singular, conlexted 
episodes of talk. The remainder of the article is
given over to such an exemplary account - an 
examination of an episode of interaction during a
testing session between a man whose brain 
hemispheres had been surgically separated and a 

Close window