Schegloff Media Archive clips for:

Harvey Sacks and Emanuel A. Schegloff: “Two Preferences in the Organization of Reference to Persons in Conversation and Their Interaction,” in G. Psathas (ed.), Everyday Language: Studies in Ethnomethodology (New York: Irvington Publishers, Inc., 1979) 15-21.

In conversation, persons have occasion to refer to other persons. Sacks and Schegloff examine here two preferences in such references. The first, minimization, involves use of a single reference form and the second, recipient design, involves the preference for “recognitionals,” e.g. name. Names may be used not only because the person is known but also in preparation for subsequent use in the conversation even when the person is not already known by the recipient/hearer. When recognition is in doubt, a recognitional with an accompanying (questioning) upward intonational contour, followed by a briefpause (or “try- marker”) may be used. The argument advanced by the authors is that members’ uses of these, and succeeding try-markers in sequences, provide evidence for the preferential structure of efforts to achieve recognition in reference to other persons in the course of a conversation. Thus, the close examination of members’ conversational interaction can reveal not only the organized, methodical practices they use, but also the structure of preferred solutions to particular problems that arise in conversation.