Schegloff Media Archive clips for:
Emanuel A. Schegloff: “Some Sources of Misunderstanding in Talk-in-Interaction,” Linguistics, 25 (1987), 201-218.
Efforts to understand ‘misunderstanding’ in talk-in-interaction should be able to specify
how interactionally exogenous factors such as cultural/linguistic/social differences induce trouble in interactionally endogenous terms. As a byproduct of a systematic study of repair in conversation, a number of systematic sources of misunderstanding can be explicated in terms of categories endogenous to the organization of talk-in-interaction. Two classes of trouble are examined – problematic reference and problematic sequential implicativeness. Four sources of the latter type of trouble are discussed – the serious/non-serious distinction, favored action interpretations, the constructive/composite distinction in the understanding of utterances, and the practice of ‘joke-first’. Although germane to an understanding of the mechanisms of ‘misunderstanding’, the substantial independence of the organization of repair from the sources of trouble has the import that these mechanisms have at most an indirect bearing on repair itself.