Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This paper sets out to clarify the nature of fabrication in relation to conversational interaction. Drawing upon work in the conversation analysis tradition, the paper argues that two dimensions to talk-in-interaction can be distiguished which permit a clearer understanding of the idea of fabrication. Fabrication involves questions of content or substance where the functional end is one of deception, but it can also be seen as referring to practices involved in the production of talk in institutional settings – courtrooms, news interviews, etc. -where a degree of rehearsal of what is to be said is deemed necessary. The paper then explores these dimensions of fabrication in the context of an examination of a tape recorded exchange between a police officer and his informer, an encounter which has been alleged to have been an ‘artifical facade’.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Atkinson, J.M. and P. Drew
    (1979) Order in court: The organisation of verbal interaction in judicial settings. London, Macmillan. doi: 10.1007/978‑1‑349‑04057‑5
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-04057-5 [Google Scholar]
  2. Davidson, J.
    (1984) Subsequent versions of invitations, offers, requests and proposals dealing with potential or actual rejection. In J.M. Atkinson and J.C. Heritage (eds) Structures of social action. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Drew, P.
    (1985) Analysing the use of language in courtroom interaction. In T.A. van Dijk (ed).
    [Google Scholar]
  4. (1990) Strategies in the contest between lawyer and witness in cross-examination. In J. Levi and A. Walker (eds) Language in the judicial process. New York, Plenum Press doi: 10.1007/978‑1‑4899‑3719‑3_2
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4899-3719-3_2 [Google Scholar]
  5. Drew, P. and J. Heritage
    (1992) Talk at work: Interaction in institutional settings. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Emmison, M.
    (1989) A conversation on trial: The case of the Ananda Marga conspiracy tapes. Journal of Pragmatics13:363–380. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(89)90060‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(89)90060-X [Google Scholar]
  7. Garfinkel, H.
    (1967) Studies in ethnomethodology. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Garfinkel, H. and H. Sacks
    (1970) On formal structures of practical actions. In J.C. Mckinney and E.A. Tiryakian (eds) Theoretical sociology. New York, Appleton Century Crofts.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Goffman, E.
    (1974) Frame analysis. Harmondsworth, Penguin Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Heritage, J.C.
    (1985) Analysing news interviews: Aspects of the production of talk for an overhearing audience. In T.A. van Dijk (ed).
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Heritage, J. and Watson, D
    (1980) Aspects of the properties of formulations in natural conversation: Some instances analysed. Semiotica30:245–262. doi: 10.1515/semi.1980.30.3‑4.245
    https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.1980.30.3-4.245 [Google Scholar]
  12. Heritage, J.C. , S. Clayman and D. Zimmerman
    (1988) Discourse and message analysis: The micro-structure of mass media messages. In R. Hawkins , J. Wiemann and S. Pingree (eds) Advancing communication science: Merging mass and interpersonal processes. (Sage annual reviews of Communication Research 16) Newbuey Park, Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. McHoul, A.W.
    (1987) Why there are no guarantees for interrogators. Journal of Pragmatics11:455–471 doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(87)90089‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(87)90089-0 [Google Scholar]
  14. Molomby, T.
    (1986) Spies, bombs and the path of bliss. Sydney, Potoroo Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Sacks, H. , Schegloff, E.A. , and Jefferson, G.
    (1974) A simplest systematics for the organisation of turn-taking for conversation. Language50,4:696–735. doi: 10.1353/lan.1974.0010
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1974.0010 [Google Scholar]
  16. Schegloff, E.A. , G. Jefferson and H Sacks
    (1977) The preference for self-correction in the organisation of repair in conversation. Language53:361–382. doi: 10.1353/lan.1977.0041
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1977.0041 [Google Scholar]
  17. Schegloff, E.A.
    (1987) Between micro and macro: Contexts and other connections. In J.C. Alexander , B. Giesen , R. Munch and N. Smelser (eds) The macro-micro link. Berkley, University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Van Dijk, T.A.
    (ed.) (1985) Handbook of discourse analysis, vol3. London, Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Wootton, A.
    (1981) The management of grantings and rejections by parents in request sequences. Semiotica37:59–89. doi: 10.1515/semi.1981.37.1‑2.59
    https://doi.org/10.1515/semi.1981.37.1-2.59 [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error