Schegloff Media Archive clips for:

Harvey Sacks, Emanuel A. Schegloff, (1973), “Opening up closings”, Semiotica, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 289–327.

Our aim in this paper is to report in a preliminary fashion on analyses we have been developing of closings of conversation. Although it may be apparent to intuition that the unit ‘a single conversation’ does not simply end, but is brought to a close, our initial task is to develop a technical basis for a closing problem. This we try to derive from a consideration of some features of the most basic sequential organization of conversation we know of — the organization of speaker turns. A partial solution of this problem is developed, employing resources drawn from the same order of organization. The incompleteness of that solution is shown, and leads to an elaboration of the problem, which requires reference to quite different orders of sequential organization in conversation — in particular, the organization of topic talk, and the overall structural organization of the unit ‘a single conversation’. The reformulated problem is used to locate a much broader range of data as relevant to the problem of closings, and some of that data is discussed in detail. Finally, an attempt is made to specify the domain for which the closing problems, as we have posed them, seem apposite.

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