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“Who knows best?”

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Abstract

This essay reviews current work in conversation analysis with an eye to what it might contribute to the study of evidentiality and epistemic asymmetry. After a brief review of some aspects of the interactional organization of conversation, I turn to consider the way in which participants negotiate relative epistemic positioning through the use of particular practices of speaking. The analytic focus here is on agreements and confirmations especially in assessment sequences. In conclusion, I consider a single case in which various practices are employed to convey a delicate balance of knowledge and simultaneously to attend to a range of other, non-epistemic, interactional issues.

References

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