Publication details [#62250]

Helisten, Marika. 2017. Resumptions as multimodal achievements in conversational (story)tellings. Journal of Pragmatics 112 : 1–19.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher


This article handles a recurrent participant's problem in everyday interaction: how the speaker of an extended, multiunit, (story)telling turn is capable of renewing their telling after its progressiveness was provisionally stopped because of an intervening course of action. It explores resumption as an interactional practice whereby tellers employ special devices to point out to their co-participants that what follows is not a continuance of just-prior talk, but a return to a before interrupted (story)telling sequence. Employing video recordings of mundane English interactions as data, the inquiry debates some of the regularities involved in how these special devices are employed and distinguishes a systematic, multimodal practice for resumption. The inquiry centers on resumptions prefaced with the discourse markers ‘but’ and ‘anyway’. Video data further discloses that just centering on resumptions' verbal features would supply a rather limited view of how they are attained in co-present interaction. Restarting an interrupted telling line implicates the teller's intricate and systematic – but also, situated – application of verbal, prosodic and embodied resources.