Why do jokes come in rounds, like drinks? What makes them a safe haven, interactionally speaking, in a group therapy session? Some interesting observations from Harvey Sacks’ Lectures on Conversation (1965/1992)
We have a new paper out in which we argue that the robustness and flexibility of human language is underpinned by a machinery of interactive repair. Repair is normally thought of as a kind of remedial procedure. We argue its import is more fundamental. Simply put (and oversimplifying only a bit), we wouldn’t have complex language if it weren’t for interactive repair.