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“Sorry?”/“Como?”/“Was?” – Open class and embodied repair initiators in international workplace interactions

  • As open class repair initiators (OCRIs, e.g., “what” or “huh”) do not specify the type of repairable, choosing an adequate repair format in the next turn becomes a practical problem for the participants. Whereas in monolingual/L1 speaker conversations participants typically orient towards troubles caused by reduced acoustic intelligibility or by topical/sequential disjunction, in multilingual/L2 interactions possible problems regarding asymmetric language choices and skills can be added – and might be responded to accordingly. Based on videotaped international business meetings and interactions at a customs post, this paper investigates various open class and embodied other-initiations of repair. By means of a conversation analytical and multimodal approach to social interaction, this contribution focuses first on instances of audible OCRIs and illustrates that they are accompanied by embodied conduct. Second, two types of embodied other-initiation of repair are scrutinized: a lifted eyebrows/head display and a freeze display in which movements are suspended. The analysis shows that participants treat these as referring either to troubles in hearing (display 1) or to troubles in understanding the linguistic format (display 2). This leads to the formulation of further desiderata and analytical challenges regarding the multimodal other-initiation of repair in general and in professional international settings in particular.

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Author:Florence OloffORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Journal of Pragmatics
Place of publication:Amsterdam
Document Type:Article
Year of first Publication:2018
Date of Publication (online):2022/02/11
Publishing Institution:Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS)
Tag:conversation analysis; embodied other-initiation of repair; international work settings; open class repair initiators; repair sequences; video data
GND Keyword:Gespräch; Hören; Interaktion; Konversationsanalyse; Verstehen; Videoaufzeichnung
First Page:29
Last Page:51
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:nein
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt