You said that? Other-initiations of repair addressed to represented talk

Gabriele Kasper, Matthew Prior

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper examines a topic that has not gained much analytic attention in research on represented talk: how recipients respond, and how their responses shape the ongoing interaction. Using conversation analysis, we investigate responses to represented talk in complaint stories told in autobiographical interviews. Supportive recipient actions are the most common, but on occasion the recipient other-initiates repair on the quoted talk. These other-initiations of repair are done as candidate understandings, formatted as positive declarative questions, and regularly locate the specific trouble source in the represented talk through prosodic emphasis. In some instances, they do no more than seeking confirmation of the story recipient's uncertain understanding, but often, the other-initiations of repair are produced or understood as questioning the acceptability of the represented talk. For the most part tellers reaffirm, defend, and reinforce their claim that the talk happened as previously portrayed. By rejecting the recipient's challenge, the tellers show that they expect a more empathetic stance from the story recipient. Finally, we consider what the participants may accomplish with the observed practices in the autobiographic interview as an institutional activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)815-844
Number of pages30
JournalText and Talk
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • candidate understandings
  • complaint stories
  • interviews
  • other-initiations of repair
  • reported speech
  • represented talk and thought

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Linguistics and Language


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