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Doing Responding to Self-Deprecation: A Conversation Analytic Account

It may seem contrary to what one would believe about ‘normal’ conversation, but self- deprecations occur more often than not during spoken discourse (and not without good reason). And with self-deprecations come other-speaker responses, which are generally formed in such a way to have a consequential effect on the initial speaker. The data in question come from an initial interaction between an English student at a British University and an American student studying for a semester abroad at the same university. The data was collected by two video cameras and an audio MP3 recorder, and subsequently transcribed for detailed conversation analytic investigation. Pomerantz discusses elements of self-deprecation and responses to them. Specifically, she notes that disagreements to self-deprecations are generally the preferred response (1984: 77). However, often she does not relate the formation of the specific responses in question to the semantic and pragmatic meaning of the self-deprecation.