Nextness and story organization: ‘my day’ sequences in parent-child interaction

Younhee Kim, Andrew P. Carlin

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Abstract In this paper we offer a longitudinal Conversation Analysis of talk lasting 18 months between a father and son, which reveals changes in the child’s level of Interactional Competence (IC). We propose an index of developing IC based upon Sacks’ distinction between “invited” and “volunteered” stories. While stories have a “socialization function” we suggest stories may be tracked in terms of IC also. What has been called “today narrative” routines (“What did you do at school today”, etc.), initiated by the father, predominate in a series of conversations. The analysis reveals how the child is encouraged to take extended turns through the father’s questions and comments, which are developed into a storytelling sequence. We observe that the child’s responses to the initial inquiries become more elaborate over time. Furthermore, there is a gradual resistance to the invited story format because it inhibits how the child organizes his stories. Volunteered stories obtain a more personal ‘voice’. The paper showcases the nexus between socialization and interactional competence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-43
Number of pages23
JournalText & Talk
Issue number1
Early online date7 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished online - 7 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research funding: This study was funded by the University of Macau via grants SRG2018-00135-FAH and MYRG2020-00068-FAH.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2022.


  • Linguistics and Language
  • Philosophy
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • volunteered stories
  • invited stories
  • nextness
  • progressivity
  • topic
  • socialization
  • interactional competence


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