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The Handbook of Conversation Analysis by Tanya Stivers, Jack Sidnell

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20

 Response Design in Conversation

SEUNG-HEE LEE

Yonsei University

Introduction

In Conversation Analysis, responses are normally explicated by reference to some sequence-initiating first action that makes them relevant. An initiating action and its response together form an adjacency pair in which the two parts are linked by a relation of conditional relevance (Schegloff, 1968; Schegloff & Sacks, 1973). Given the production of a particular type of sequence-initiating action (e.g. a request, an invitation, an offer), a response of a particular type is made relevant (e.g. a granting/rejection, an acceptance/refusal). A more recent approach conceptualizes responses as being mobilized through turn design features in addition to the relevance inherent in the properties of actions and sequential positions (Stivers & Rossano, 2010).

Response designs have been characterized and examined in terms of various turn designs and action properties of first actions. Within CA, there has been much research focusing on the design of responses to questions in particular. Questions—although often associated with the act of requesting information—serve as vehicles for implementing a range of social actions that make response relevant (Schegloff, 1984b; Stivers & Rossano, 2010). Research on the design of responses to questions has been concerned with the characteristic ways in which respondents deal with multifaceted constraints imposed by the question format and its action. This includes turn design ...

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