Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Since Harvey Sacks’ early observations on collaborative sentence-making, the joint production of turns has become a topic of abiding interest amongst conversation analysts. This paper offers a thematic review of the literature by looking into a number of issues surrounding joint productions, including their forms and interactional uses, major types and sub-types, syntactic and pragmatic contributions, unity and variation across languages, and reasons for its inherent fascination as a conversational practice. By re-examining a number of key concepts and distinctions, including completion, extension, projection, continuation, collaboration, and affiliation/disaffiliation, the paper offers a critical assessment of their perspicuity and usefulness for our understanding of joint production as a general phenomenon (which includes both co-completions and increments). In the second part of the paper, it is suggested that two further concepts be added to the analyst’s toolbox, namely, ‘parties’ (Schegloff 1995) and ‘voices’ (Bakhtin 1981). It is argued that with these notions, one would be better placed to explain the curious status of joint productions as at once collaborative and yet at the same time potentially transformative or even subversive. The overriding goal is conceptual clarification of this field, which hopefully will help place further research on firmer ground.


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