Scenarios where a question and continuation can be used to resolve interactional challenges in an extended piece of discourse

  • Yasunari Asuka Daito Bunka University


This article uses conversation analysis to examine the role of turn construction, consisting of a question and continuation (QAC), by recipients of an extended discourse, such as personal experience stories, in English conversation. Continuations have traditionally been classified in the literature as strategic resources to manage certain interactional pitfalls. One common usage is when a question or assessment receives no precise or immediate uptake, so the questioner elaborates in order to solicit a response from the recipient. This study will focus on different types of continuation sequences, including those that: (1) indicate when a listener is disappointed with a story’s unfolding and its lack of a satisfactory climax; (2) attempt to interrupt what is becoming a monologue instead of a dialogue by demonstrating that the listener is knowledgeable about the topic under discussion; and (3) empathize with a character in the story. Thus, there are several potential uses for this approach: to prevent a monologue, and to confirm to the speaker that the listener hears and understands the speaker’s story.

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