|Author(s)||Carrie Childs, Dave Walsh|
|Title||Paradoxical Invitations: Challenges in Soliciting More Information from Child Witnesses|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Police interviews, children, invitations|
|Journal||Research on Language and Social Interaction|
When interviewing children reporting their being victim of alleged sexual offenses, police officers will at some point ask interviewees if they would like to add to what has been said or if they have any questions. Formal interviewing guidelines recommend that this be done during interview closure. Using Conversation Analysis, we show that launching such invitations at interview closure makes them paradoxical. On the one hand, the child is asked to treat them as literal; on the other, they may hear them as a formulaic step in the closing of the interview, not to be taken as a genuine invitation. We compare this placement with more successful solicitations made elsewhere in the interview. The data set comprises 27 videotaped interviews from a UK police force. Data are in British English.