Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This paper deals with the features of the system of other-initiated repair in different varieties of English, and thus in different cultural settings in which English is spoken. Corpus-based data are used to investigate whether and how repair practices, which are essential to the human communication system, vary across English-speaking cultures. The data show that while, on the whole, repair practices are very similar across different varieties, there are differences with respect to the frequency of the different formats deployed for removing trouble and differences as regards the preferred strategies for restoring and maintaining mutual understanding.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Anchimbe, Eric, and Richard Janney, eds
    2011Postcolonial Pragmatics. Special Issue of Journal of Pragmatics43.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Barron, Anne
    2017 “Variational Pragmatics”. InAnne Barron, Yueguo Gu, and Gerard Steen, eds.The Routledge Handbook of Pragmatics. Abingdon: Routledge, 91–104. 10.4324/9781315668925‑10
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315668925-10 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bauman, Richard, and Joel Sherzer, eds
    1989Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511611810
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611810 [Google Scholar]
  4. Clark, Herbert H., and Edward Schaefer
    1987 “Collaborating on Contributions to Conversations”. Language and Cognitive Processes2: 19–41. 10.1080/01690968708406350
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01690968708406350 [Google Scholar]
  5. Dingemanse, Mark, Joe Blythe, and Tyko Dirksmeyer
    2014 “Formats for Other-Initiation of Repair across Languages. An Exercise in Pragmatic Typology”. Studies in Language38: 5–43. 10.1075/sl.38.1.01din
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.38.1.01din [Google Scholar]
  6. Dingemanse, Mark, and Nick Enfield
    2015 “Other-Initiated Repair across Languages: Towards a Typology of Conversational Structures”. Open Linguistics1: 96–118. 10.2478/opli‑2014‑0007
    https://doi.org/10.2478/opli-2014-0007 [Google Scholar]
  7. Dingemanse, Mark, Seán Roberts, Julija Baranova, Joe Blythe, Paul Drew, Simeon Floyd, Rosa S. Gisladottir, Kobin H. Kendrick, Stephen C. Levinson, Elizabeth Manrique, Giovanni Rossi, and N. J. Enfield
    2015 “Universal Principles in the Repair of Communication Problems.” PLoS ONE10(9): e0136100. doi:  10.1371/journal.pone.0136100
    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0136100 [Google Scholar]
  8. Drew, Paul
    1997 “‘Open’ Class Repair Initiators in Response to Sequential Sources of Trouble in Conversation”. Journal of Pragmatics28: 69–101. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(97)89759‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(97)89759-7 [Google Scholar]
  9. Enfield, Nick, and Stephen C. Levinson
    eds. 2006Roots of Human Sociality: Culture, Cognition, and Human Interaction. Oxford: Berg.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Flöck, Ilka, and Ronald Geluykens
    2018 “Preference Organization and Cross-Cultural Variation in Request Responses: A Corpus-Based Comparison of British and American English”. Corpus Pragmatics2: 57–82. 10.1007/s41701‑017‑0022‑y
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s41701-017-0022-y [Google Scholar]
  11. Haakana, Markku, and Salla Kurhila
    2009 “Other-Correction in Everyday Interaction: Some Comparative Aspects”. InMarkku Haakana, Minna Laakso, and Jan Lindström, eds.Talk in Interaction: Comparative Dimensions. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society, 152–179. 10.21435/sflin.14
    https://doi.org/10.21435/sflin.14 [Google Scholar]
  12. Kachru, Braj
    1992 “World Englishes: Approaches, Issues and Resources”. Language Teaching25: 1–14. 10.1017/S0261444800006583
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0261444800006583 [Google Scholar]
  13. Kachru, Yamuna, and Larry Smith
    2008Cultures, Contexts, and World Englishes. New York: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203891346
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203891346 [Google Scholar]
  14. Kendrick, Kobin
    2015 “Other-Initiated Repair in English”. Open Linguistics1: 164–190. 10.2478/opli‑2014‑0009
    https://doi.org/10.2478/opli-2014-0009 [Google Scholar]
  15. Moerman, Michael
    1977 “The Preference for Self-Correction in a Tai Conversational Corpus”. Language53: 872–882. 10.2307/412915
    https://doi.org/10.2307/412915 [Google Scholar]
  16. 1988Talking Culture: Ethnography and Conversation Analysis. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 10.9783/9780812200355
    https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812200355 [Google Scholar]
  17. Nelson, Gerald, Sean Wallis, and Bas Aarts
    2002Exploring Natural Language. Working with the British Component of the International Corpus of English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/veaw.g29
    https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g29 [Google Scholar]
  18. Neumaier, Theresa
    2019 “Patterns of Conversational Interaction in Varieties of English”. Ph.D. Dissertation, Universität Regensburg.
  19. Reisman, Karl
    1974 “Contrapuntal Conversations in an Antiguan Village”. InRichard Bauman, and Joel Sherzer, eds.Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 110–123.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Robinson, Jeffrey
    2006 “Managing Trouble Responsibility and Relationships during Conversational Repair”. Communication Monographs73: 137–161. 10.1080/03637750600581206
    https://doi.org/10.1080/03637750600581206 [Google Scholar]
  21. 2013 “Epistemics, Action Formation, and Other-Initiation of Repair: The Case of partial Questioning Repeats”. InMakoto Hayashi, Geoffrey Raymond, and Jack Sidnell, eds.Conversational Repair and Human Understanding. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 261–292.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Robinson, Jeffrey, and Heidi Kevoe-Feldman
    2010 “Using Full Repeats to Initiate Repair on Others’ Questions”. Research on Language and Social Interaction43: 232–259. 10.1080/08351813.2010.497990
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2010.497990 [Google Scholar]
  23. Schegloff, Emanuel A.
    1997 “Practices and Actions: Boundary Cases of Other-Initiated Repair”. Discourse Processes23: 499–545. 10.1080/01638539709545001
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638539709545001 [Google Scholar]
  24. 2000 “When ‘Others’ Initiate Repair”. Applied Linguistics21: 205–243. 10.1093/applin/21.2.205
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/21.2.205 [Google Scholar]
  25. 2004 “On Dispensability”. Research on Language and Social Interaction37: 95–149. 10.1207/s15327973rlsi3702_2
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi3702_2 [Google Scholar]
  26. 2007Sequence Organization in Interaction: A Primer in Conversation Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511791208
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791208 [Google Scholar]
  27. Schegloff, Emanuel A., Gail Jefferson, and Harvey Sacks
    1977 “The Preference for Self-Correction in the Organization of Repair in Conversation”. Language53: 361–382. 10.1353/lan.1977.0041
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1977.0041 [Google Scholar]
  28. Schneider, Klaus P.
    2010 “Variational Pragmatics”. InMirjam Fried, Jan-Ola Östman, and Jef Verschueren, eds.Variation and Change: Pragmatic Perspectives. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 239–267. 10.1075/hoph.6.18sch
    https://doi.org/10.1075/hoph.6.18sch [Google Scholar]
  29. Schneider, Klaus P., and Anne Barron, eds
    2008Variational Pragmatics: A Focus on Regional Varieties in Pluricentric Languages. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.178
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.178 [Google Scholar]
  30. Schröder, Anne, and Klaus P. Schneider
    2018 “Variational Pragmatics, Responses to Thanks, and the Specificity of English in Namibia”. English World-Wide39: 338–363. 10.1075/eww.00017.sch
    https://doi.org/10.1075/eww.00017.sch [Google Scholar]
  31. Selting, Margret
    1996 “Prosody as an Activity-Type Distinctive Cue in Conversation: The Case of so-called ‘Astonished’ Questions in Repair Initiation”. InElizabeth Couper-Kuhlen, and Margret Selting, eds.Prosody in Conversation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 231–270. 10.1017/CBO9780511597862.008
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511597862.008 [Google Scholar]
  32. Sidnell, Jack
    2001 “Conversational Turn-Taking in a Caribbean English Creole”. Journal of Pragmatics33: 1263–1290. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(00)00062‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(00)00062-X [Google Scholar]
  33. 2007 “Repairing Person Reference in a Small Caribbean Community”. InNick Enfield, and Tanya Stivers, eds.Person Reference in Interaction: Linguistic, Cultural, and Social Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 281–308.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Stivers, Tanya
    2015 “Coding Social Interaction: A Heretical Approach in Conversation Analysis?” Research on Language and Social Interaction48: 1–19. 10.1080/08351813.2015.993837
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2015.993837 [Google Scholar]
  35. Stivers, Tanya, Nick Enfield, Penelope Brown, Christina Englert, Makoto Hayashi, Trine Heinemann, Gertie Hoymann, Federico Rossano, Jan Peter de Ruiter, Kyung-Eun Yoon, and Stephen C. Levinson
    2009 “Universals and Cultural Variation in Turn-Taking in Conversation”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences106: 10587–10592. 10.1073/pnas.0903616106
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0903616106 [Google Scholar]
  36. Svennevig, Jan
    2008 “Trying the Easiest Solution First in Other-Initiation of Repair”. Journal of Pragmatics40: 333–348. 10.1016/j.pragma.2007.11.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2007.11.007 [Google Scholar]
  37. Wong, Jean
    2000 “Delayed Next Turn Repair Initiation in Native/Non-native Speaker English Conversation”. Applied Linguistics21: 244–267. 10.1093/applin/21.2.244
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/21.2.244 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): communicative universals; conversation; conversation analysis; repair; World Englishes
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