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Or-Prefacing in the Organization of Self-Initiated Repair

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Publication details

JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
DateE-pub ahead of print - 25 Feb 2015
Issue number1
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)58-78
Original languageEnglish


This report identifies a distinct, and distinctly positioned, element of the repair segment—the repair preface—and focuses on or-prefacing to introduce the practice of repair prefacing and to develop an analysis of one preface type. Although or-prefaced repairs do substitute one formulation for another, the or-preface shows that the trouble source formulation is not being discarded altogether, thereby mitigating the reparative character of the repair operation. We also examine expanded or-prefaced repair segments for what they reveal about the part or-prefacing plays in repair. Additionally, and as part of our explication of repair prefacing, we show how some same-TCU repairs (with and without or-prefaces) can be mounted without progressivity-disrupting hitches or alerts. Data are in American and British English.

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