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Accountability in Social Interaction$
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Jeffrey D. Robinson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190210557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210557.001.0001

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On Failure to Understand What the Other Is Saying

On Failure to Understand What the Other Is Saying

Accountability, Incongruity, and Miscommunication

Chapter:
(p.47) 2 On Failure to Understand What the Other Is Saying
Source:
Accountability in Social Interaction
Author(s):

Paul Drew

Claire Penn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210557.003.0002

This study concerns an interaction between a woman with aphasia (Jess) and her speech therapist (Rose), during which there is evidently some miscommunication between them concerning an account Jess is attempting to give of a period earlier in her life. The misunderstanding is salient to the participants in the interaction and each takes steps to repair it. The analysis focuses on this repair and shows that Jess is referring to herself with two identities that she treats as being incongruent. The principal of congruity in descriptions, whereby identities or descriptors are selected from some same class or category, is outlined. In the excerpt, Jess is trying to tell her co-participant something through a contrast that “flouts” the congruence principal, which thereby underlies the accountability of what she is telling Rose, but which Rose does not grasp—and thereby also the miscommunication between them.

Keywords:   conversation analysis, accountability, miscommunication, aphasia, congruence, categorization, clarification, repair, speech therapy

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