Gabriele Kasper, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Recipient Contributions to Storytellings in Multilingual Research Interviews

Gabriele Kasper
Gabriele Kasper

In all forms of social interaction, the current speaker's talk is shaped by the recipient(s). Speakers select what they say and how they say it in orientation to such concerns as the recipient's knowledge, interests, feelings, rights and obligations. Recipients show in various ways how they take the speaker's contributions, and whether they claim a turn or maintain the current distribution of discourse identities between speaker and recipient. Recipient influences are inescapably present in mundane everyday talk such as storytellings and in specialized activities such as research interviews - and by implication, they are at work in storytellings in research interviews. In fact, in qualitative social research interviews are often conducted with the intent to generate stories that are relevant to the research purpose. This is also the case in applied linguistics and studies of multilingualism (Codó, 2008). Yet in this extensive literature the recipients' contributions to the storytelling predominantly remain below the analytic radar.

Taking a conversation-analytic perspective, this talk will examine some recurrent practices used by the story recipient in multilingual research interviews with immigrant participants. Focus will be given to the methods by which the recipient responds to the teller's productions of represented talk and the consequences they engender for the subsequent telling.