|Author(s)||Jessica S. Robles|
|Title||Misunderstanding as a resource in interaction|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, discourse analysis, misunderstanding, repair, reference, inference, intersubjectivity|
Te phenomenon of misunderstanding is a recurrent feature of everyday life – sometimes a source of frustration, sometimes a site of blame. But mis- understandings can also be seen as getting interactants out of (as well as into) trouble. For example, misunderstandings may be produced to deal with dis- afliative implications of ‘not being on the same page,’ and as such they may be deployed as a resource for avoiding trouble. Tis paper examines misunder- standing as a pragmatic accomplishment, focusing on the uses to which it is put in interactions as a practice for dealing with threats to intersubjectivity: the extent to which persons are aligned in terms of a current referent, activity, as- sessment, etc. A multimodal discourse analysis of audio and video recordings of naturally-occurring talk inspects moments in which misunderstandings are purported or displayed (rather than overtly invoked) as well as how such misunderstandings are oriented to as simply-repairable references, versus in- ferential matters more misaligned and potentially fraught. Rather than being a straightforward refection of an experience of trouble with understanding, misunderstanding may also be collaboratively produced to manage practical challenges to intersubjectivity.