Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



This article investigates the flow of information in conversational narrative performance in light of research on the epistemics of talk in interaction and epistemic vigilance on the part of story recipients. Based on examples from a range of corpora, it reassesses the relationship between storytellers and recipients consistent with recipient design, and investigates cases of too little and too much information in narrative. Viewing narrative performance as sharing territories of knowledge provides new insights into the notions of telling rights and tellability as well as teller competence and credibility. The narrative performance may contain gaps and discrepancies along with clusters of copious information from which recipients must pick and choose to construct a dynamic narrative model to be tested against further information. In the communal presentation of family narratives, territories of knowledge merge, shared events are illuminated from separate perspectives, gaps in knowledge are filled, and evaluations are enriched.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bamberg, M.
    (2004) “I know it may sound mean to say this, but we couldn’t really care less about her anyway”: Form and Functions of ‘Slut-Bashing’ in 15-Year Olds. Human Development47, 331–353. 10.1159/000081036
    https://doi.org/10.1159/000081036 [Google Scholar]
  2. (2006) Biographic-narrative research, quo vadis? A critical review of “big stories” from the perspective of “small stories.” InK. Milnes, C. Horrocks, N. Kelly, B. Roberts & D. Robinson (Eds.), Narrative, memory and knowledge: Representations, aesthetics and contexts (pp.1–17). Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Blum-Kulka, S.
    (1993) “You gotta know how to tell a story”: Telling, tales, and tellers in American and Israeli narrative events at dinner. Language in Society, 22, 361–402. 10.1017/S0047404500017280
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500017280 [Google Scholar]
  4. Blum-Kulka, S., & Snow, C. E.
    (1992) Developing autonomy for tellers, tales, and telling in family narrative events. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 2, 187–217. 10.1075/jnlh.2.3.02dev
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jnlh.2.3.02dev [Google Scholar]
  5. Brockmeier, J.
    (2000) Autobiographical time. Narrative Inquiry, 10, 51–73. 10.1075/ni.10.1.03bro
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.10.1.03bro [Google Scholar]
  6. (2001) From the end to the beginning: Retrospective teleology in autobiography. InJ. Brockmeier & D. Carbaugh (Eds.), Narrative and identity: Studies in autobiography, self, and culture (pp.248–280). Amsterdam: Benjamins. 10.1075/sin.1.14bro
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sin.1.14bro [Google Scholar]
  7. Brown-Schmidt, S., Gunlogson, C., & Tanenhaus, M. K.
    (2008) Addressees distinguish shared from private information when interpreting questions during interactive conversation. Cognition, 107, 1122–1134. 10.1016/j.cognition.2007.11.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2007.11.005 [Google Scholar]
  8. Bruner, J.
    (1991) The narrative construction of reality. Critical Inquiry, 18, 1–21. 10.1086/448619
    https://doi.org/10.1086/448619 [Google Scholar]
  9. Bruner, J., & Weisser, S.
    (1991) The invention of self: Autobiography and its forms. InD. R. Olsen & N. Torrance (Eds.), Literacy and orality (pp.129–148). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Chafe, W.
    (1994) Discourse, consciousness, and time. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. De Fina, A., & Georgakopoulou, A.
    (2011) Analyzing Narrative: Discourse and Sociolinguistic Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139051255
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139051255 [Google Scholar]
  12. Falk, J.
    (1980) The conversational duet. Berkeley Linguistics Society: Proceedings of the Sixth Annual Meeting 1980, 507–514.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Fricker, E.
    (2006) Second-hand knowledge. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 73(3), 592–618. 10.1111/j.1933‑1592.2006.tb00550.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1933-1592.2006.tb00550.x [Google Scholar]
  14. Genette, G.
    (1980) Narrative discourse: An essay in method, trans. byJ. E. Lewin. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Goffman, E.
    (1981) Forms of Talk. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Hatavara, M., & Mildorf, J.
    (2017) Hybrid Fictionality and Vicarious Narrative Experience. Narrative, 25(1), 65–82. 10.1353/nar.2017.0004
    https://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2017.0004 [Google Scholar]
  17. Heritage, J.
    (1984) A change-of-state token and aspects of its sequential placement. In: A. J. Maxwell & J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of social action. Studies in conversation analysis (pp.199–345). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. (2012a) Epistemics in action: Action formation and territories of knowledge. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 45(1), 1–29. 10.1080/08351813.2012.646684
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.646684 [Google Scholar]
  19. (2012b) The Epistemic Engine: Sequence Organization and Territories of Knowledge. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 45(1), 30–52. 10.1080/08351813.2012.646685
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2012.646685 [Google Scholar]
  20. Hirst, W., & Echterhoff, G.
    (2012) Remembering in conversations: The social sharing and reshaping of memories. Annual Review of Psychology, 63, 55–79. 10.1146/annurev‑psych‑120710‑100340
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-120710-100340 [Google Scholar]
  21. Kamio, A.
    (1997) Territory of information. Amsterdam: Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.48
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.48 [Google Scholar]
  22. Labov, W.
    (1972) Language in the inner city. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Labov, W., & Fanshel, D.
    (1977) Therapeutic discourse. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Labov, W., & Waletzky, J.
    (1967) Narrative analysis: Oral versions of personal experience. InJ. Helm (Ed.), Essays on the verbal and visual arts (12–44). Seattle: University of Washington Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Lerner, G. H.
    (1992) Assisted storytelling: Deploying shared knowledge as a practical matter. Qualitative Sociology, 15(3), 247–271. 10.1007/BF00990328
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00990328 [Google Scholar]
  26. Mandelbaum, J.
    (1987) Couples sharing stories. Communication Quarterly, 35(2), 144–171. 10.1080/01463378709369678
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01463378709369678 [Google Scholar]
  27. Mildorf, J.
    (2019) Narratives of Vicarious Experience in Oral History Interviews with Craft Artists. Journal of Pragmatics. 152: 103–112. 10.1016/j.pragma.2018.03.010
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2018.03.010 [Google Scholar]
  28. Norrick, N. R.
    (1997) Twice-told tales: Collaborative narration of familiar stories. Language in Society, 26, 199–220. 10.1017/S004740450002090X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S004740450002090X [Google Scholar]
  29. (2000) Conversational narrative. Amsterdam: Benjamins (2nd edition 2010) 10.1075/cilt.203
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.203 [Google Scholar]
  30. (2005) The dark side of tellability. Narrative Inquiry, 15(2), 323–343. 10.1075/ni.15.2.07nor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.15.2.07nor [Google Scholar]
  31. (2012) Remembering for narration and autobiographical memory. Language and Dialogue, 2(2), 193–215. 10.1075/ld.2.2.02nor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ld.2.2.02nor [Google Scholar]
  32. (2013) Narratives of vicarious experience in conversation. Language in Society, 42(4), 385–406. 10.1017/S0047404513000444
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404513000444 [Google Scholar]
  33. (2018) Negation in narrative: Why say what didn’t happen?Narrative Inquiry, 28(2), 373–395. 10.1075/ni.17028.nor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.17028.nor [Google Scholar]
  34. Ochs, E., & Capps, L.
    (2001) Living narrative: Creating lives in everyday storytelling. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Quasthoff, U. M.
    (1980) Gemeinsames Erzählen als Form und Mittel im sozialen Konflikt oder ein Ehepaar erzählt eine Geschichte. InK. Ehlich (Ed.), Erzählen im Alltag (pp.109–141). Frankfurt/Main, Germany: Suhrkamp.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Ryan, M.-L.
    (1985) The Modal Structure of Narrative Universes. Poetics Today, 6(4), 717–56. 10.2307/1771963
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1771963 [Google Scholar]
  37. (1991) Possible worlds, artificial intelligence and narrative theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. (2006) From parallel universes to possible worlds: Ontological pluralism in physics, narratology and narrative. Poetics Today, 27(4), 633–74. 10.1215/03335372‑2006‑006
    https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-2006-006 [Google Scholar]
  39. Sacks, H.
    (1974) An analysis of the course of a joke’s telling. InR. Bauman & J. Sherzer (Eds.), Explorations in the ethnography of speaking (pp.337–353). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. (1984) On doing “being ordinary”. InJ. M. Atkinson & J. Heritage (Eds.), Structures of social action: Studies in conversation analysis (pp.413–429). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. (1992) Lectures on Conversation, 2 vols. G. Jefferson (Ed.), Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., & Jefferson, G.
    (1974) A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language, 50, 696–735. 10.1353/lan.1974.0010
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.1974.0010 [Google Scholar]
  43. Schegloff, E. A.
    (1995) Discourse as an interactional achievement III: the omnirelevance of action. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 28(3), 185–211. 10.1207/s15327973rlsi2803_2
    https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi2803_2 [Google Scholar]
  44. (2007) Sequence organization in interaction: A primer in conversation analysis (Vol.1). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511791208
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791208 [Google Scholar]
  45. Schiffrin, D.
    (1987) Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511611841
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611841 [Google Scholar]
  46. (1996) Narrative as Self Portrait: The Sociolinguistic Construction of Identity. Language in Society, 25, 167–203. 10.1017/S0047404500020601
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500020601 [Google Scholar]
  47. Shuman, A.
    (1986) Storytelling rights. New York: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511983252
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511983252 [Google Scholar]
  48. Sperber, D., Clément, F., Heintz, C., Mascaro, O., Mercier, H., Origgi, G., & Wilson, D.
    (2010) Epistemic vigilance. Mind and Language, 25, 359–393. 10.1111/j.1468‑0017.2010.01394.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0017.2010.01394.x [Google Scholar]
  49. Sperber, D., & Wilson, D.
    (1995) Relevance: Communication and Cognition. 2nd ed.Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Stalnaker, R.
    (2002) Common Ground. Linguistics and Philosophy, 25, 701–721. 10.1023/A:1020867916902
    https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1020867916902 [Google Scholar]
  51. Stivers, T., & Rossano, F.
    (2010) Mobilizing response. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 43, 3–31. 10.1080/08351810903471258
    https://doi.org/10.1080/08351810903471258 [Google Scholar]
  52. Walsh, R.
    (2007) The rhetoric of fictionality: narrative theory and the idea of fiction. Columbus: The Ohio State University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
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