The interactional dynamics of scaling and contrast in accounts of interpersonal conflict

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6 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines interactional regrading—specifically, scaling and contrast—and its role in the construction and interpretation of accounts of interpersonal conflict. Analysis and discussion center on an extended, multi-part narrative sequence produced by an adult immigrant woman describing her experiences with ethnic and linguistic discrimination in the United States. Drawing on talk-in-interaction perspectives, I examine how teller and recipient produce and orient to implicational scales and contrasts (e.g., ‘transgression’, ‘propriety’, ‘native/non-native English speaker’) and their associated categorial, affective, and moral resonances. These are shown to vary in their granularity (e.g., ‘general-specific’), intensity (e.g., ‘weak-strong’), and other gradable features. Analysis of this talk as it unfolds in ‘real-time’ reveals the dynamics of how regrading functions as a supportive resource to produce versions of events, to recalibrate and challenge transgressive people and actions, and to elicit affiliative recipient responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

Keywords

  • Conflict
  • Contrast
  • Discourse
  • Narrative
  • Regrading
  • Scaling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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