Italian Studies Research Seminar Series | Repair practices in Italian-English bilingual multiparty conversations
Repair practices in Italian-English bilingual multiparty conversations
Francesco Possemato and Daniela Panìco
Repair is a fundamental organisation for interaction that allows participants to deal with problems of speaking, hearing, or understanding. Whilst trouble in interaction can be extremely varied in nature, one recurrent problem in bilingual conversations is the lack of availability of a lexical item, which typically yields a “word search” sequence. Drawing on video-recorded dinner conversations occurring in an Australian Italian-English bilingual family, this paper concentrates on moments where Italian is the preferred language for interaction. We examine repair sequences in multiparty interactions in which the current speaker resorts to English due to “problems of accessibility” to an Italian word. The analysis shows that, in interactions where linguistic competencies are unevenly distributed amongst participants, repair sequences systematically provide a third party – i.e. neither the trouble-source speaker or the repair initiator – with the opportunity to repair the trouble source, similarly to a “language broker”. This paper shows how – by reallocating the accountability for repairing the trouble in conversation – other-initiated other repair can be fruitfully exploited for the re-establishment of the preferred language for interaction.
About the speaker
Francesco Possemato is a Research Associate in the Department of Linguistics at Macquarie University. Francesco holds a B.A. in Italian Studies from the University of Pisa, and a M.A. in Linguistics from the University for Foreigners of Siena. Francesco completed his Ph.D. at the University of Sydney (2018), exploring L2 multiparty classroom interactions with a focus on the interface between turn, sequence and action projection. By using the methods of Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguistics, his research addresses language and social interaction in a variety of contexts. He is currently the project manager for the Conversational Interaction in Aboriginal and Remote Australia (CIARA) project (Macquarie University-University of Melbourne-University of Queensland). He is the co-investigator for the Aphasia, correction, and micro-collaboration (Macquarie University) addressing interactions involving people with aphasia. Francesco is the external investigator for the Students’ flourishing through Italian classroom interaction project (La Trobe University). He is the coordinator of the Conversation Analysis in Sydney (CAIS) group – Australasian Institute of Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis (AIEMCA). Francesco has published on Italian L2 teaching, atypical interaction, and pragmatic typology.
Daniela Panìco is a PhD candidate in the Department of Italian Studies, University of Sydney, and has recently completed her thesis exploring bilingual practices in Italian-Australian families. Her research interests range from the fields of linguistics, bilingualism and family language policy to interactional and conversation analytical approaches to the study of bilingual language use. She holds a Degree in Pedagogy and Second Language Teaching (Università degli Studi di Lecce, Italy) and has extensively taught Italian and English as L2 in Italy and the UK, within programs promoted by the Italian Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the UK, Daniela was responsible for projects supporting bilingualism at the level of the family, school and society, in cooperation with the British Council and the Department of Foreign Language Learning and Teaching, King’s College, London. Daniela was also a member of the international committee working on the development of the Syllabus for the Teaching of Modern Foreign Languages, in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR, Council of Europe). Currently, Daniela is working at the University of Sydney as a tutor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and in the Department of Italian Studies. She is also a tutor in the School of International Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney.
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