The Emergence of Self-Repair: A Case Study of One Child During the Early Preschool Years

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Forrester, Michael A. (2008)

Learning how to talk during the early preschool years involves the appropriation of\ud cultural norms, conventions, and sense-making social practices. In this article, I document\ud the emergence of self-repair practices of a preschool child between the ages of\ud 1 and 3;6 years. Employing a longitudinal single-case approach extract, examples\ud provide insights into the resources that a child employs when acquiring the ability to\ud self-repair. The findings indicate that during the early years, self-repair is a more\ud common occurrence than other-initiated repair, and the ability to self-repair rests on\ud skills of sound/utterance alteration, repetition, conversation monitoring, and an orientation\ud to self-positioning in discourse. The likelihood of the child producing\ud self-repair is associated with the non-response of a coparticipant, highlighting a sensitivity\ud to the interdependence of talk, gesture, and action. It is also linked to the requirements\ud of communicative clarity, implicating the significance of sequential position\ud when repairing. Concluding comments touch on the interactional consequences\ud of repair organization and the variety of discourse contexts served by self and otherinitiated\ud self-repair.
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