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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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Delicate Matters

Delicate Matters

Embedded Self-Correction as a Method for Adjusting Possibly Available Inapposite Hearings

Chapter:
(p.108) 4 Delicate Matters
Source:
Accountability in Social Interaction
Author(s):

Jenny Mandelbaum

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190210557.003.0004

This chapter examines a practice of “embedded self-correction” deployed to remove a possibly available inapposite hearing in such a way as to not “expose” a possibly delicate matter, nor delay the forward progress of interaction. In removing the incipient problem just before, or very shortly after, it becomes response ready, accountability for it is avoided. Three environments for embedded self-correction are described: (1) remediating a possibly untoward action regarding the interlocutor; (2) adjusting a problematic impression of self; and (3) removing something that sounds “silly” or is susceptible to an infelicitous or improper hearing. Speakers act rapidly to remove possibly available inapposite hearings by extending possibly complete turns (e.g., by adding increments), thereby avoiding exposing or becoming accountable for the problematic items, or delaying ongoing actions. Findings suggest that it may be possible to correct error without engaging the usual mechanisms of conversational repair.

Keywords:   conversation analysis, accountability, repair, correction, progressivity, increment, inapposite, delicate, impression

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