The Embodied and Negotiated Production of Assessments in Instructed Actions

Mondada, Lorenza. (2009) The Embodied and Negotiated Production of Assessments in Instructed Actions. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 42 (4). pp. 329-361.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/48418/

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Based on video recordings of instructions produced by a car dealer for a customer who has just bought a car, this article deals with assessments produced in professional interactions in which participants' attention is focused on a copresent object that is pointed at, described, or explained. It contributes to the study of the systematic organization of assessments, relying on their sequential positions and on the multimodal actions manipulating the assessable object, as well as on the identities of the assessors, their epistemic stances, and their relations to the assessable. The sequential organization of assessments has been previously described in two sequential environments: At the end of extended sequences, they work as closing-implicative resources. In the context of sequences of assessments, the first is preferentially upgraded by the second. The corpus studied here shows alternative formats, sensitive to the context and the activity. Participants orient to the interactional metrics of asssessments, by expecting but not always producing them as the stronger type of response to extended descriptions of copresent objects. They also orient to this interactional metric in sequences of assessments, not only when they produce second upgraded ones but also when they produce downgraded seconds. The data reveal a peculiar format, consisting of a first positive assessment, upgraded by a second, which is then downgraded by the first speaker in third position. This format, as well as the possibility of downgrading assessments in second position, shows that in certain activities the production of assessments can be risky, i.e., vulnerable to a downgrade in the next position. The article reveals practices that not only corroborate the bright side of assessing practices well described in the literature, showing that they display shared experiences, alignment, and affiliation, but also their dark side, showing that assessments can also express disaffiliation, contending authorities, resistance, claims of autonomous epistemic access, and distinct rights to assess.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Französische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > Französische und Allgemeine Linguistik (Mondada)
UniBasel Contributors:Mondada, Lorenza
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:17 Nov 2021 14:58
Deposited On:17 Nov 2021 14:58

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