What we say always consists of prior words, structures and meanings that are combined in new ways and re-used in new contexts for new listeners. In this book, Deborah Schiffrin looks at two important tasks of language - presenting 'who' we are talking about (the referent) and 'what happened' to them (their actions and attributes) in a narrative - and explores how this presentation alters in relation to emergent forms and meanings. Drawing on examples from both face-to-face talk and public discourse, she analyses a variety of repairs, reformulations of referents, and retellings of narratives, ranging from word-level repairs within a single turn-at-talk, to life story narratives told years apart. Bringing together work from conversation analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, cognitive semantics, pragmatics, and variation analysis, In Other Words will be invaluable for scholars wishing to understand the many different factors that underlie the shaping and re-shaping of discourse over time, place and person.

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