Alternative questions used in conversational repair

Irene Koshik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article adds to the conversation analytic literature on repair and on preference structure by examining a previously-undescribed other-initiated repair practice, using the form of an alternative question, and the various actions that this practice is used to accomplish. Alternative question repair initiations can present alternate hearings or understandings of a prior utterance for clarification. They can also be used to initiate error correction by targeting a trouble source in a prior utterance with the first alternative and providing a candidate correction with the second. In the latter case, rejection of the candidate preference can be done as a dispreferred response. Recipients can make use of both turn design and context to interpret the actions being done through this form of repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-211
Number of pages19
JournalDiscourse Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Alternative questions
  • Conversation analysis
  • Preference structure
  • Repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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