December 12, 2017
Haines 110

The Conversation Analysis Working Group invites you to join us next Tuesday with Amparo Garcia-Ramon (University of Valencia) for: 

Indexing epistemic incongruence: Intensifying particles and information elaboration

In recent decades, an important body of CA literature has focused on the management of knowledge in interaction. According to these studies, speakers who deliver a claim in first position are proposing, together with the content of the claim itself, a specific basic epistemic configuration, such that S is more knowledgeable (K+) than H (K-) on the matter at hand. One of the key notions in these studies is that of epistemic incongruence, which has been defined as an incompatibility between the different epistemic stances of participants. This kind of incompatibility is signaled when one of the participants challenges the basic epistemic configuration suggested by the action delivered by another.

This presentation explores a discourse pattern found in responses to assertive moves in interaction, drawing from a corpus of spontaneous conversations and broadcast interviews in Spanish. The pattern includes a particle that stresses agreement (e.g. Sp. “claro”, “por supuesto” (‘of course’), “sin duda” (‘without a doubt’)) followed by a segment where the second speaker elaborates on the information provided by the first. These components may be preceded by an element that signals that there is some kind of problematicity. It is suggested that through this kind of response the second speaker confirms that the first assertion is correct in terms of its content, while also suggesting that it is problematic in terms of its epistemic configuration. It is also suggested that the interactional functions of indexing epistemic incongruence can be either affiliative or disaffiliative.


The Irene Flecknoe Ross lecture series is made possible by a gift from Ray Ross in memory of his wife.