University of Oulu

Marika Helisten, Resumptions as multimodal achievements in conversational (story)tellings, Journal of Pragmatics, Volume 112, April 2017, Pages 1-19, ISSN 0378-2166,

Resumptions as multimodal achievements in conversational (story)tellings

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Author: Helisten, Marika1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-04-01


This paper addresses a recurrent participant’s problem in everyday interaction: how the speaker of an extended, multiunit, (story)telling turn is able to resume their telling after its progressivity was temporarily halted due to an intervening course of action. It investigates resumption as an interactional practice whereby tellers use special devices to make it known to their co-participants that what comes next is not a continuation of just-prior talk, but a return to a previously suspended (story)telling sequence. Using video recordings of mundane interactions in English as data, the study discusses some of the regularities involved in how these special devices are used and identifies a systematic, multimodal practice for resumption. The study focuses on resumptions prefaced with the discourse markers ‘but’ and ‘anyway’, which seem to be used interchangeably in this sequential position but also exhibit subtle differences in terms of their interactional import. Further, video data reveals that simply focusing on the verbal features of resumptions would provide a somewhat narrow view of how they are accomplished in co-present interaction. Resuming a suspended line of telling involves the teller’s complex and systematic — but also, situated — use of verbal, prosodic as well as embodied resources.

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Series: Journal of pragmatics
ISSN: 0378-2166
ISSN-E: 1879-1387
ISSN-L: 0378-2166
Volume: 112
Issue: April
Pages: 1 - 19
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2017.01.014
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 6121 Languages
Funding: This research was funded by the Academy of Finland (project number 128286) and the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Oulu.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 128286
Detailed Information: 128286 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2017. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license