The case for an eclectic approach to discourse-in-interaction

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This paper advocates an eclectic approach to discourse-in-interaction analysis, not only because adopting a single point of view on such a complex object is too restrictive, but also because it is impossible to account for fundamental aspects of the ways it operates without having recourse to notions coming from different theoretical paradigms. For this we shall consider first the question of units (particularly speech acts and adjacency pairs) then the question of “preference organization”, a notion which can be dealt with more adequately by resorting to face-work considerations. This investigation will lead us to revisit two problems which are central to discourse analysis (whether in interaction or not): what place is to be allocated to context in description and what the analyst’s interpretation consists in.


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