This volume by Gail Jefferson, co-founder of the field of Conversation Analysis, is a collection of her papers (some previously unpublished) of corrections and repair occurring in conversation. Speech errors occurring in discourse bring into play means of remedying errors. The book consists of thirteen papers, starting with the appraisal of Jefferson's innovative exploration into speech errors. The first two chapters examine the relevant topics. Ch. 1 identifies that uh can be employed to perform certain interactional functions. For instance, it may be employed to be ‘doing correcting’ of a nonpreferred item. Ch. 2 illustrates how interactional errors can serve as a resource to elicit alternatives to a current set of identities and relationships. Ch. 3 manifests that the thought/realized contrast acts as a correction format to report the past correction of an erroneous thought, through which a speaker can not only show that a former perception turned out to be not correct, but also emphasize that it was in principle correct. Ch. 4 shows how and where in interaction a preference for self-repair is in operation.
Chs. 5 and 6 both focus on sound serving as an interactional resource. Ch. 5 indicates that word choice is often dependent on a kind of categorical relation to other words. Ch. 6 focuses on the pronunciation of affirmative/negative tokens, particularly, occurrence of lax tokens for affirmation/negation, addressing the nonoccurrence of repair in the face of a possible repairable.
Ch. 7 analyzes an interactional mechanism with which a speaker attempts to trigger revision of a response by proposing that the response did not occur, and response is due. Ch. 8 presents two distinctive modes of other-correction reflecting distinct interactional options. For the expected mode, one is responsible to account for the error whereas the embedded mode permits interactional management.
Ch. 9 conducts the analysis of nonoccurrence, observing that correction becomes an activity through which other things than just correction can be done. Ch. 10 illustrates the way in which items are put on the conversational lists, regarded as colligation as a mechanism for minimizing repair. Ch. 11 addresses the theme of avoiding a correction, which explores how in an interactional environment a speaker does not immediately render his or her meaning explicit. Ch. 12 indicates that by means of the ‘post-self-correction repeat’ device, recipients reveal that they realized an error was being made. Recipients were monitoring the speaker's transition from error to self-correction, offering the recipients the chance to correct the error. Ch. 13 demonstrates a twin phenomenon that a recipient of an erroneous statement accepts the statement as it is, and the prior speaker then produces a self-correction.
This book is a comprehensive exploration of speech errors. First, methodologically, it integrates rigorous analysis, methodological innovation, and insightful observation. Second, it reveals the subtle way in which moments of communication difficulty are remedied to minimize the damage to the interaction. Third, it addresses insightful practical engagement with human experience. It is the first systematic collection of studies of errors in utterance. It deserves reading by both researchers and students.