Shared understanding is at the heart of social interaction: it is demonstrated and maintained with every turn-at-talk. Still intersubjectivity can on occasion break down, and this can happen for a plethora of reasons. Using conversation analysis, this paper demonstrates three practices that participants in Dutch talk-in-interaction use to repair breakdowns of intersubjectivity. The first practice consists of an oh ja-prefaced declarative. With this practice an interactant conveys that s/he remembers here-and-now some information which s/he thereby treats as relevant for understanding the prior talk. The second practice consists of an oh-prefaced declarative, with which the speaker claims to now understand something s/he earlier did not understand or had misunderstood. Both practices are declarative yes/no-type initiating actions, meaning that confirmation is treated as the relevant next action. Both practices, however, do very distinct actions. With a remembering, an interactant claims independent epistemic access, whereas with doing understanding access is local, and inferred from and dependent on the co-interactant's talk. We compare these two practices to oh-prefaced yes/no-type interrogatives. These too are used to address problems with intersubjectivity, but they claim instead that the prior talk by the interlocutor somehow contradicts the speakers background assumptions.
- Conversation Analysis
- Yes/no-type initiating actions