The role of intonation in the organization of repair and problem handling sequences in conversation

  • Transcripts of repair and/or problem handling sequences from natural conversations are presented and analyzed with special reference to the role of intonation in the interactive organization of these sequences. It is shown that (a) in the initiation of so-called repair or local problem handling sequences, intonation is used as a type-distinctive device, and (b) in the handling of a global problem handling sequence, intonation is systematically used as a means to constitute and control participant cooperation. In general, intonation is analyzed as one contextualization cue cooccurring with specific syntactic, semantic and discourse organizational devices to signal the status of an utterance in conversational context. It is hypothesized that especially in the global problem handling sequence, different categories of intonation, i.e. different accent and contour types, are systematically used to signal and control participants' interactive problem handling in different, indexically relevant ways simultaneously.

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Author details:Margret SeltingORCiDGND
Publication series (Volume number):Zweitveröffentlichungen der Universität Potsdam : Philosophische Reihe (54)
Publication type:Postprint
Publication year:1988
Publishing institution:Universität Potsdam
Release date:2010/04/12
Source:Journal of pragmatics. - 12 (1988) 3, S. 293-322, ISSN 0378-2166, DOI 10.1016/0378-2166(88)90035-5
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Germanistik
DDC classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
License (German):License LogoKeine öffentliche Lizenz: Unter Urheberrechtsschutz
External remark:
The original publication is available at
Journal of pragmatics. - 12 (1988) Issue 3, p. 293-322
ISSN 0378-2166
DOI 10.1016/0378-2166(88)90035-5
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