Conversation Analysis in Chinese
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Since Sacks’ pioneering work in the 1970s, storytelling has become a favourite topic of research within conversation analysis. Scholars have examined storytelling from the point of view of sequential organization (Jefferson 1978), participation organization (Goodwin 1984), story co-telling (Duranti 1986, Mandelbaum 1987, Lerner 1992), displays of epistemic statuses (Schegloff 1988), and action formation (M. Goodwin 1982, 1990; Mandelbaum 1993; Beach 2000; Beach & Glenn 2011; Wu 2011, 2012). Work has also been done on the management of storytelling in the context of other, concurrent activities (Goodwin 1984, Goodwin & Goodwin 1992, Mandelbaum 2010, Haddington et al. 2014). The aim of this paper is to apply the many insights that researchers have accumulated since Sacks to the analysis and understanding of a single instance of storytelling in a Cantonese conversation. A detailed, step-by-step unpacking of this story will reveal how the contingencies of an interaction, including the interplay of multiple contexts, may leave fine-grained imprints on the shape and character of a story.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Cantonese; multiactivity; narrative; participation framework; storytelling
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