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“We’re running out of fuel!”: When does miscommunication go unrepaired?

Authors
  • Elder, Chi-Hé
  • Beaver, David
Type
Published Article
Journal
Intercultural Pragmatics
Publisher
De Gruyter
Publication Date
Oct 21, 2022
Volume
19
Issue
5
Pages
541–570
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/ip-2022-5001
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
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Abstract

We introduce a framework for studying repair initiation in the face of miscommunication. Our aim is to seed development of models that both predict when conversational repair is a likely communicative strategy and explain why interlocutors would not engage in repair in the face of conversational difficulty. We identify three factors as critical to the predictability of repair: (i) the extent to which a misalignment is (un)recognized by participants (ignorance); (ii) the significance of misalignment relative to some cluster of goals (cost of misalignment); and (iii) the significance of engaging in repair relative to some cluster of goals (cost of repair). We offer a simple method for graphically depicting relevant aspects of communicative situations and exemplify the framework with examples of non-repaired miscommunication before discussing its applicability to different empirical domains.

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