“I’ll tell you later on”
Proleptic and analeptic tying devices in oral history interviews
This article investigates an interactional phenomenon in which oral history interview participants deal with temporal structure in extended storytelling. It is based on the observation that while narrating a life story, participants routinely use its temporal structure as an organizing principle of the interview. Drawing inspiration from Sacks’ notion of tying devices and Genette’s distinction of prolepsis/analepsis, I have identified two forms of practices that interrelate storytelling sequences in an interview. For the first form, I propose the term analeptic tying: in this practice, turns produced earlier are treated as a resource for the current turn. For the second form, I propose the term proleptic tying, which refers to planned turns of speech that have yet to be produced being treated as a resource. I discuss the proleptic and analeptic tying devices in relation to relevant research in ethnomethodology/conversation analysis, which is the approach taken in this article.
Keywords: storytelling, oral history, time, temporality, ethnomethodology, conversation analysis
Published online: 10 March 2020
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