Category Terms as Story-Telling Shortcuts

Main Article Content

Elizabeth Reddington


Following Stokoe (2012), who grounded her study of membership categorization practices in the analysis of particular sequences of interaction, such as advice-giving, I will examine how participants invoke and orient to categories in story-telling episodes. Because category terms are inherently inference-rich (Schegloff, 2007), I argue that they may serve as a powerful resource for story-tellers: By invoking particular categories, a speaker can prompt a listener to make inferences that facilitate the telling of the story, obviating the need for certain accounts and explanations. I will analyze two extracts from a Skype phone conversation in which one female friend shares stories about her apartment-hunting experience with another female friend. I suggest that evidence for categorization work in these extracts may be found both in what the participants say and in what they do not have to say.

Article Details