Fludernik, Monika: "Conversational Narration - Oral Narration". 16 Nov 2018. Hühn, Peter et al. (eds.): the living handbbook of narratology. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press. http://hup.sub.uni-hamburg.de/lhn/index.php?title=Conversational_Narration_-_Oral_Narration&oldid=2040

Conversational Narration - Oral Narration

Last modified: 19 February 2013

Monika Fludernik

   [1]
1 Definition

[2]
“Oral narrative” is a term that covers a number of different types of storytelling: spontaneous conversational narrative (“natural narrative”); institutionalized oral narrative in an oral culture context; oral bardic poetry; simulations of orality in written texts by means of narrative strategies such as pseudo-orality or skaz. For narratology, oral narrative has been important at two different stages of the discipline. In Russian formalism (especially in the work of Propp) and during the 1960s (especially in the work of Bremond and Greimas) fairytales, which had their basis in orally transmitted storytelling, were used to analyze the deep structure of narrative and to discover functions of plot elements and typical actant structures ( Character). More recently, Herman, Fludernik and others, inspired by discourse analysis, have concentrated on conversational storytelling both as an interesting type of narrative in and by itself and as a prototype of all narration. This work has additionally had a close affinity with cognitive studies ( Cognitive Narratology). Institutionalized oral narrative as in the Homeric epics focuses on both the deep and the surface structure of narrative, analyzing plot-related motifs and the repetition of epitheta and formulae on the discourse level. The technique of pseudo-orality, finally, is a secondary phenomenon. It refers to the evocation of characters’ mode of utterance (especially in terms of dialect and colloquiality) in the written representation of speech.

   [3]
2 Explication

[4]
The basic prototype of oral narrative is spontaneous conversational narrative. This covers narratives produced in face-to-face exchanges in a variety of contexts such as storytelling sequences at dinner parties, brief narratives interspersed in telephone conversations or in doctor/patient and lawyer/client exchanges. Labov & Waletzky (Labov, William & Joshua Waletzky (1967). “Narrative Analysis: Oral Versions of Personal Experience.” J. Helm (ed). Essays on the Verbal and Visual Arts. Seattle: U of Washington P, 12–44.1967) use the term “natural narrative” for this type of oral narration. In German, the term Alltagserzählung (e.g. Ehlich ed. Ehlich, Konrad, ed. (1980). Erzählen im Alltag. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.1980) is current, emphasizing the fact that conversational narrative occurs in the framework of everyday interaction. Spontaneous (or unsolicited) conversational narrative must be distinguished from solicited narratives told to interviewers. In the corpus of the Survey of English Usage (London), mealtime conversations, telephone conversations, etc. were taped in which narratives spontaneously occurred without solicitation or elicitation by the researcher. By contrast, in Labov’s (Labov, William (1972). Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P.1972) study, the material comes from solicited narratives in which interviewers asked African-American youths to tell stories about specific personal experiences. The same method was adopted for more extended acts of storytelling in Terkel (Terkel, Studs ([1984] 1990). ‘The Good War.’ An Oral History of World War Two. New York: Ballantine.1984). Unsolicited conversational storytelling takes place in very diverse circumstances, but it is also present in much informal exchange on the telephone, in social gatherings, etc. In the latter case, story sequences may emerge in which the conversation develops into a series of narratives (one joke after the other, one story after the other about one’s worst experience with doctors, etc.). Spontaneously occurring natural narrative has received extensive analysis in the linguistic sub-disciplines of discourse analysis and conversation analysis. (See Hutchby & Wooffitt Hutchby, Ian & Robin Wooffitt (1998). Conversation Analysis. Principles, Practices, Applications. Cambridge: Polity.1998; Jaworksi & Coupland eds. Jaworski, Adam & Nikolas Coupland, eds. (1999). The Discourse Reader. London: Routledge.1999; Johnstone Johnstone, Barbara ([2002] 2008). Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell.2002 for the former, and Atkinson & Heritage eds. Atkinson, John Maxwell & John Heritage, eds. (1984). Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.1984; Psathas Psathas, George (1995). Conversation Analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage.1995; Schegloff Schegloff, Emanuel A. (2007). Sequence Organization in Interaction: A Primer in Conversation Analysis. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.2007 for the latter.)

[5]
The second and third prototypes of oral narration characterize institutionalized storytelling in an oral culture context. On the one hand, this includes oral poetry, on the other, traditional and not necessarily poetic (i.e. verse-form) storytelling. Based partly on the work of Lord (Lord, Albert (1960). The Singer of Tales. Cambridge: Harvard UP.1960) and Parry (ed. Parry, Adam, ed. (1971). The Making of Homeric Verse. The Collected Papers of Milman Parry. Oxford: Clarendon.1971), Ong (Ong, Walter (1982). Orality and Literacy. London: Methuen.1982), Foley (Foley, Miles (1990). Traditional Oral Epic. The Odyssey, Beowulf, and the Serbo-Croatian Return Song. Berkeley: U of California P.1990, Foley, Miles (1995). The Singer of Tales in Performance. Bloomington: Indiana UP.1995) and others have studied the emergence of traditional epic poetry and noted extensive similarities in structure and style between Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey and the oral epics of the Balkans (guslar poetry). Much of this research focuses on the complexity of epic poetry and on how oral production manages to create and sustain it with the help of formulaic elements. In addition, Parry’s insights into the Homeric epics and Lord’s analyses of contemporary guslar poetry raise questions regarding transformation from the oral to the written poetic tradition.

[6]
In addition to the tradition of oral poetry, where long epics in verse are performed, there are cultures in which narratives are presented by a storyteller to an audience that interacts with the narrator while the story is being told, serving as a kind of chorus or speaker of refrains. Such oral narratives can be found in various parts of the world, e.g. in Canada (Tedlock Tedlock, Dennis (1983). The Spoken Word and the Work of Interpretation. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P.1983), in African countries, and in India. In contrast to spontaneous conversational storytelling, this type of storytelling has an appointed bard who is a practiced performer; nor is it framed by an ongoing conversation between a small number of interlocutors in which stories are longer turns in verbal exchange. Even so, oral poetry and oral storytelling in traditional cultural contexts do have a frame: the institutional frame which gives the storyteller his exclusive “turn” as performer, providing for audience/bard interaction in ritualized responses.

[7]
It could be argued that anecdotes, exempla, parables and similar short narrative forms introduced into sermons, speeches or lectures constitute an intermediate type of oral narration. In these contexts, narratives are inserted into ongoing oral discourse (as in spontaneous conversational narratives), but with one dominant speaker (as in oral poetry) rather than a framing conversational exchange.

[8]
The fourth type of oral narrative is “pseudo-oral discourse” (fingierte Mündlichkeit; cf. Goetsch Goetsch, Paul (1985). “Fingierte Mündlichkeit in der Erzählkunst entwickelter Schriftkultur.” Poetica 17, 202–18.1985). Although, literally, the evocation of orality in literary narrative has nothing to do with actual conversational storytelling, this phenomenon is widespread in literary texts and therefore of crucial importance to the narratologist. Pseudo-orality occurs in two forms in literary (and sometimes in non-literary) narratives: the representation of dialect or foreign speech in written dialogue and the evocation of an oral narrator persona, as in the skaz (Ėjxenbaum Ėjxenbaum, Boris (Eikhenbaum) ([1918] 1975). “The Illusion of ‘Skaz’.” Russian Literature 12, 233–36.1918). As pointed out by Leech & Short (Leech, Geoffrey N. & Michael H. Short (1981). Style in Fiction. A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. London: Longman.1981: 167–70), the transcription of oral speech in literary dialogue aims not at a phonologically precise rendering of dialect, but at accentuating typical dialect features. By orthographic means, authors thus seek to highlight the differences between standard written language and dialectal forms.

[9]
In addition to narratives that evoke linguistic alterity by stressing stereotypical features, there are narratives that give prominence to a pseudo-oral narrative voice, a teller figure whose style suggests that the discourse has been uttered rather than written down. Such evocation of orality in narrative report can be based on the combination of several techniques. In English literature, it requires the avoidance of literate vocabulary and complex syntax. Thus, pseudo-oral narrators, such as Holden in J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, are often garrulous, repetitive, contradictory and illogical; they keep interrupting themselves and tend to address a fictive listener or audience familiarly; they seem to have an intimate rapport with the fictional world, to which they apparently belong, and also do not shy away from expressing their feelings and views emphatically, thus setting themselves off from the typical narrators of literary texts—aloof, bland, reliable, neutral.

[10]
Russian skaz (cf. Ėjxenbaum Ėjxenbaum, Boris (Eikhenbaum) ([1918] 1975). “The Illusion of ‘Skaz’.” Russian Literature 12, 233–36.1918; Vinogradov Vinogradov, Viktor ([1925] 1980). “The Problem of Skaz in Stylistics.” E. Proffer & C. R. Proffer (eds). The Ardis Anthology of Russian Futurism. Ann Arbor: Ardis.1925; Schmid Schmid, Wolf (2005). Elemente der Narratologie. Berlin: de Gruyter.2005: 156–76) often falls under this category of the pseudo-oral, but at times undermines the mimetic quality of the represented discourse by having a naïve peasant narrator resort to inappropriately elevated diction, e.g. the register of the legal or administrative elite. It must be noted that the evocation of orality in literary texts is just that: an evocation or stylization produced by highlighting the most striking features of oral language. What counts for narrative purposes is not a faithful copy of the “original” utterance in all its linguistic detail, but the effect of deviation from the norm through quaintness, informality, intimacy, lack of education, cultural difference, class ascription. The simplifications and exaggerations of the linguistic features of orality and/or register therefore serve the purpose of facilitating identification, stereotyping, “local color,” or effet de réel. The technique is also used to characterize the narrator persona, just as dialect in the dialogue of 19th-century fiction tends to underline class difference, lack of education or idiosyncrasy (cf. Dickens, Scott or Trollope).

   [11]
3 History of the Concept and its Study

[12]
Returning to the first category, spontaneous conversational narratives, a closer look will be taken at research results in discourse analysis and conversation analysis before going on to discuss their relevance for present-day narratology.

   [13]
3.1 Discourse Analysis and Conversation Analysis

[14]
Discourse analysis developed as a sub-discipline of pragmatics, i.e. language in use (Levinson Levinson, Stephen C. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.1983). More immediately, it derives from the work of sociologists, in particular Sacks (Sacks, Harvey(1992). Lectures in Conversation. Ed. G. Jefferson. 2 vols. Oxford: Blackwell.1992). Sacks began by analyzing telephone exchanges at a call center and then went on to establish the basic rules of conversation, notably (in narrative sequences) “turn-taking,” “adjacency pairs,” “overlap,” “repair” and “abstracts.” His initial research (in Sacks, Harvey (1972). “An Initial Investigation of the Usability of Conversational Data for Doing Sociology.” D. Sudnow (ed). Studies in Social Interaction. New York: Free P, 31–74.1972) was followed by a landmark contribution (Sacks et al. Sacks, Harvey et al. (1974). “A Simple Systematics for the Organization of Turn-taking for Conversation.” Language 50, 696–735.1974) which concentrated on turn-taking. It was found that conversations are structured by turns taken and held by each speaker. In narratives, speakers are allowed longer turns, provided the interlocutors are alerted to the speaker’s intention to delve into a story. In ordinary conversation, turns often come in adjacency pairs, particularly at the beginning of exchanges: greeting/greeting; question/answer; request/agreement or compliance; command/compliance; identification/recognition (telephone); etc. Interlocutors frequently interrupt each other and overlap (B starts to speak while A is completing his/her turn), but they also proceed in fits and starts and may start their sentences over (repair): e.g. “I wanted… (pause) I was wondering… (pause) could you tell me when flight LS 03 comes in?” These frame conditions have a significant impact on how narratives are produced in spontaneous conversational narrative.

[15]
Discourse analysis has also been heavily influenced by Labov (Labov, William (1972). Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P.1972) and his school of discourse study, which remains fundamental to the study of conversational narrative. Labov collected narratives elicited in interviews with young African-American males, and from this material he developed a model of the structure of natural narrative. Labov & Waletzky (Labov, William & Joshua Waletzky (1967). “Narrative Analysis: Oral Versions of Personal Experience.” J. Helm (ed). Essays on the Verbal and Visual Arts. Seattle: U of Washington P, 12–44.1967) propose a model of episodic narrative consisting of a basic structure: abstract; orientation; narrative clauses (insert clauses of delayed orientation and evaluation); result; coda. Abstract and coda provide a link with the conversational frame, while the orientation section introduces characters and setting. The authors also introduced the terms “point” and “reportability” or “tellability”: to be effective, narratives must be “newsworthy” (reportable) and have a “point” (demonstrate something). These features play a crucial role in Fludernik’s definition of experientiality, which consists in the dialectic of tellability and point (Fludernik, Monika (1996). Towards a ‛Natural’ Narratology. London: Routledge.1996: 26–30; Tellability).

[16]
Discourse analysis since Sacks and Labov has developed in great strides. Many fruitful insights into natural narrative and oral exchange have been gained by Schegloff, Gail Jefferson, Schiffrin, Chafe, Tannen, Quasthoff, etc. Besides focusing on the structure and syntactic and lexical peculiarities of natural narrative, this research has moved into elucidating the psychological and cultural functions of conversational storytelling (Bamberg ed. Bamberg, Michael, ed. (1997). Oral Versions of Personal Experience. Three Decades of Narrative Analysis. Special Issue of Journal of Narrative and Life History 7.1997; Ochs & Capps Ochs, Elinor & Lisa Capps (2001). Living Narrative: Creating Lives in Everyday Storytelling. Cambridge: Harvard UP.2001), the construction of identity (Lucius-Hoene & Deppermann Lucius-Hoene, Gabriele & Arnulf Deppermann (2004). Rekonstruktion narrativer Identität: Ein Arbeitsbuch zur Analyse narrativer Interviews. Wiesbaden: VS für Sozalwissenschaften.2004), and questions of gender (Tannen Tannen, Deborah (1990). You Just Don’t Understand. Women and Men in Conversation. New York: Morrow.1990) as well as the aesthetic effects of using quoted speech or thought (Schiffrin Schiffrin, Deborah (1981). “Tense Variation in Narrative.” Language 57, 45–62.1981).

[17]
Conversational exchanges, including narratives, come not in sentences but in discourse units (Chafe calls them “idea” or “intonation units”) which are set apart by pauses and the completion of frames (Ono & Thompson Ono, Tsuyoshi & Sandra A. Thompson (1995). “What Can Conversation Tell Us About Syntax?” P. W. Davis (ed). Alternative Linguistics: Descriptive and Theoretical Modes. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 213–71.1995). To keep an audience’s interest, natural narrative is often repetitious and interlaced with verbatim dialogue by the participants in the events and even quotations from their thoughts, thus fictionalizing and dramatizing stories in ways that are reminiscent of novels or short stories (Tannen Tannen, Deborah (1984). Conversational Style. Analyzing Talk Among Friends. Norwood: Ablex.1984, Tannen, Deborah (1989). Talking Voices. Repetition, Dialogue, and Imagery in Conversational Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.1989; Fludernik Fludernik, Monika (1993). The Fictions of Language and the Languages of Fiction. The Linguistic Representation of Speech and Consciousness. London: Routledge.1993: 398–433). Conversational narratives also employ narrative and non-narrative “discourse markers” (Schiffrin Schiffrin, Deborah (1987). Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.1987), namely particles (mostly adverbs) placed in conjunct or adjunct position of a clause but whose “meaning” remains vague. They serve primarily macro-structural discourse functions such as initiation of a new topic, return from a side remark to the main topic, capturing the interlocutors’ attention, etc. Specifically narrative discourse markers shift between the on-plot and the off-plot levels of conversational narratives, and they also mark the key points of narrative episodes (Fludernik Fludernik, Monika (1991). “The Historical Present Tense Yet Again: Tense Switching and Narrative Dynamics in Oral and Quasi-Oral Storytelling.” Text 11, 365–98.1991, Fludernik, Monika (1992a). “The Historical Present Tense in English Literature: An Oral Pattern and its Literary Adaptation.” Language and Literature 17, 77–107.1992a, Fludernik, Monika (1992b). “Narrative Schemata and Temporal Anchoring.” The Journal of Literary Semantics 21, 118–53.1992b, Fludernik, Monika (1996). Towards a ‛Natural’ Narratology. London: Routledge.1996).

[18]
More recently, conversation analysis has been established as a still more refined research discipline for examining conversational exchange. According to Hutchby & Wooffitt (Hutchby, Ian & Robin Wooffitt (1998). Conversation Analysis. Principles, Practices, Applications. Cambridge: Polity.1998), discourse analysis describes the systematic, rule-governed features of natural narrative, whereas conversation analysis is concerned with the performative and interactive aspects of conversational exchange. In particular, conversation analysis studies the online production of utterances and the unfamiliar shape of oral syntax (Atkinson & Heritage eds. Atkinson, John Maxwell & John Heritage, eds. (1984). Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.1984; Longacre Longacre, Robert E. ([1983] 1996). The Grammar of Discourse. New York: Plenum.1983; Hutchby & Wooffitt Hutchby, Ian & Robin Wooffitt (1998). Conversation Analysis. Principles, Practices, Applications. Cambridge: Polity.1998; Schegloff Schegloff, Emanuel A. (2007). Sequence Organization in Interaction: A Primer in Conversation Analysis. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.2007). However, few conversation analysts deal with narrative, Quasthoff & Becker (eds. Quasthoff, Uta & Tabea Becker, eds. (2005). Narrative Interaction. Amsterdam: Benjamins.2005) being an exception.

[19]
Another sub-discipline, having more literary credentials, is critical discourse analysis (Hodge & Kress Hodge, Bob & Gunther Kress ([1979] 1993). Language as Ideology. London: Routledge.1979; Carter Carter, Ronald (1997). Investigating English Discourse. London: Routledge.1997; Blommaert Blommaert, Jan (2005). Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.2005), which studies how discourses generate, transmit and perpetuate ideologies and interpellate readers. Two handbooks of discourse analysis also discuss some aspects of critical discourse analysis (van Dijk ed. van Dijk, Teun A., ed. (1997). Discourse Studies. 2 vols. London: Sage.1997; Schiffrin et al. eds. Schiffrin, Deborah et al. eds. (2001). Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell.2001).

   [20]
3.2 Oral Poetry and Narratology

[21]
Analyses of oral poetry have concentrated on two questions: formulaicity and motifs. The formulaic repertoire of the epic was found to employ recurring epitheta for common objects and heroes such as “the crafty Ulysses.” Whole verse lines are repeated nearly verbatim in order to facilitate oral composition and delivery. The oral epic is also characterized by a recurrence of typical motifs such as greeting between host and guest, raising of the cup, embarkation, burial of the fallen hero. More narratologically relevant are discussions of narrative episodes based on Bremond (Bremond, Claude (1973). Logique du récit. Paris: Seuil.1973), revealing the affinity between the structure of the epic and that of the fairy tale (cf. Wittig Wittig, Susan (1978). Stylistic and Narrative Structures in the Middle English Romances. Austin: U of Texas P.1978). However, due to narratology’s concentration on the novel and on prose fiction, there has been little narratological analysis of epic verse narrative.

   [22]
3.3 Relevance of Conversational Narrative for Narratology

[23]
While classical narratology, in the foundational work of Propp (Propp, Vladimir ([1928] 1968). Morphology of the Folktale. Austin: U of Texas P.1928) and Bremond (Bremond, Claude (1973). Logique du récit. Paris: Seuil.1973), analyzed short forms of narrative (the fairytale), the emphasis fell on event sequences rather than on the oral delivery of such tales (in the absence of tape recordings, written transcriptions were used). Narratological models such as those of Genette and Stanzel shifted their interest to the discourse level of narratives but were primarily concerned with the novel, largely disregarding narratives prior to the 18th century and all forms of oral narration. Between the complexity and sophistication of the novel and seemingly unstructured, syntactically misformed conversational narratives, a wide gap was perceived, felt to be unbridgeable.

[24]
However, in the 1970s discourse analysts increasingly undertook research into the structure of conversational narratives, analyzing them in their own right. In addition to studies by Labov, Tannen, Johnstone and Chafe for English, major work was carried out for German (Ehlich ed. Ehlich, Konrad, ed. (1980). Erzählen im Alltag. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.1980; Quasthoff Quasthoff, Uta (1980). Erzählen in Gesprächen. Tübingen: Narr.1980; Quasthoff & Becker eds. Quasthoff, Uta & Tabea Becker, eds. (2005). Narrative Interaction. Amsterdam: Benjamins.2005; Brinker & Sager Brinker, Klaus & Sven F. Sager ([1989] 2006). Linguistische Gesprächsanalyse. Berlin: Schmidt.2006) and French (Gülich Gülich, Elisabeth (1970). Makrosyntax der Gliederungssignale im gesprochenen Französisch. München: Fink.1970; Mondada ed. Mondada, Lorenza, ed. (1995). Formes linguistiques et dynamiques interactionelles. Lausanne: Institut de Linguistique des Sciences du Langage.1995; Kerbrat-Orecchioni Kerbrat-Orecchioni, Catherine (1996). La conversation. Paris: Seuil.1996, Kerbrat-Orecchioni, Catherine (2001). Les actes de langage dans le discours. Théorie et fonctionnement. Paris: Nathan.2001). In the field of narratology, two researchers have drawn inspiration from conversational narrative as a major source of their own work.

[25]
Herman (Herman, David (1997). “Scripts, Sequences, and Stories. Elements of a Postclassical Narratology.” PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 112, 1046–59.1997, Herman, David (1999). “Toward a Socionarratology: New Ways of Analyzing Natural-Language Narratives.” D. Herman (ed). Narratologies. New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 218–46.1999) pleads for the relevance of natural narratives for postclassical narratology. Taking a cue from Young (Young, Katherine (1999). “Narratives of Indeterminacy: Breaking the Medical Body into its Discourses; Breaking the Discursive Body out of Postmodernism.” D. Herman (ed). Narratologies. New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 197–217.1999), who examines the performative nature of spontaneous conversational narrative and the creation and maintenance of self in patient/doctor exchanges, Herman proposes a model of conversational storytelling treated as an interactive process in which the borders between ongoing conversation and story are marked. He underlines the “jointly referential and evaluating function” (Herman, David (1999). “Toward a Socionarratology: New Ways of Analyzing Natural-Language Narratives.” D. Herman (ed). Narratologies. New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 218–46.1999: 231) of modal expressions and repetitions in conversational narratives and emphasizes their “interactional achievement.” Based on a cognitive model in which producers of stories and their listeners rely on cognitive action schemata and inferences drawn from the events related or from information provided by the narrator, Herman presents narratives (in his example: elicited ghost stories) as relying on “a process of negotiation between storytellers and their interlocutors” (239). His ultimate aim is to examine narrative competence in conversational narrative.

[26]
Fludernik moved into the study of conversational narrative through the problem of the historical present tense. She developed a model of episodic narrative structure (a modification of Labov) in which the historical present tense can occur at key points in a narrative episode (Fludernik, Monika (1991). “The Historical Present Tense Yet Again: Tense Switching and Narrative Dynamics in Oral and Quasi-Oral Storytelling.” Text 11, 365–98.1991, Fludernik, Monika (1992a). “The Historical Present Tense in English Literature: An Oral Pattern and its Literary Adaptation.” Language and Literature 17, 77–107.1992a), serving a highlighting function (in modification of Wolfson Wolfson, Nessa (1982). CHP. Conversational Historical Present in American English Narrative. Dordrecht: Foris.1982). Fludernik (Fludernik, Monika (1996). Towards a ‛Natural’ Narratology. London: Routledge.1996) went on to define conversational storytelling as a prototype of narrative tout court. She maintains that conversational narrative is basically about experientiality and that this is also true of the fictional narrative of novels and short stories (53–91), therefore providing a bridge between oral and written forms of narrative on the basis of narrativity ( Narrativity) and the purpose of storytelling (point and tellability). She further demonstrates that substrata of the oral pattern of narrative episodes can be traced in English medieval and early modern texts (92–128). In the history of English literature, the formal structure of the novel, which looks so very different from that of conversational narratives, developed slowly out of its oral roots in episodic narrative.

[27]
Over the past forty years, massive material has become available to discourse analysts. Much of it was gathered in medical or therapeutic contexts (cf. Bamberg ed. Bamberg, Michael, ed. (1997). Oral Versions of Personal Experience. Three Decades of Narrative Analysis. Special Issue of Journal of Narrative and Life History 7.1997), but oral history has also produced extensive records (Perks & Thomson eds. Perks, Robert & Alistair Thomson, eds. ([1990] 2006). The Oral History Reader. London: Routledge.1990). One sophisticated model of conversational storytelling is provided by Lucius-Hoene & Deppermann (Lucius-Hoene, Gabriele & Arnulf Deppermann (2004). Rekonstruktion narrativer Identität: Ein Arbeitsbuch zur Analyse narrativer Interviews. Wiesbaden: VS für Sozalwissenschaften.2004), describing conversational narrative as a process of ego construction, presentation of self, and negotiation of identities. In focusing on these performative issues, the authors come strikingly close to the kind of analysis of literary narratives undertaken by literary critics ( Identity and Narration).

   [28]
4 Topics for Further Research

[29]
Now that so much conversational narrative is available in transcript, there is ample opportunity for narratological analysis of this material. The handling of dialogue and thought processes in conversational narratives, the management of time schemata, deictic shifts, the question of whether the concept of focalization ( Focalization) should be used in the analysis of conversational narratives—these topics and more could well come into the scope of extensive research. Particularly with the narrative turn at the end of the 20th century, such an emphasis on naturally occurring stories could provide an increasing awareness of the affinity between natural narrative and more literary and elaborated forms of storytelling.

   [30]
5 Bibliography

   [31]
5.1 Works Cited

  • Atkinson, John Maxwell & John Heritage, eds. (1984). Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
  • Bamberg, Michael, ed. (1997). Oral Versions of Personal Experience. Three Decades of Narrative Analysis. Special Issue of Journal of Narrative and Life History 7.
  • Blommaert, Jan (2005). Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
  • Bremond, Claude (1973). Logique du récit. Paris: Seuil.
  • Brinker, Klaus & Sven F. Sager ([1989] 2006). Linguistische Gesprächsanalyse. Berlin: Schmidt.
  • Carter, Ronald (1997). Investigating English Discourse. London: Routledge.
  • Chafe, Wallace (1994). Discourse, Consciousness, and Time. The Flow and Displacement of Conscious Experience in Speaking and Writing. Chicago: U of Chicago P.
  • Chafe, Wallace, ed. ([1980] 2006). Pear Stories. Cognitive, Cultural, and Linguistic Aspects of Narrative Production. Norwood: Ablex.
  • Ehlich, Konrad, ed. (1980). Erzählen im Alltag. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.
  • Ėjxenbaum, Boris (Eikhenbaum) ([1918] 1975). “The Illusion of ‘Skaz’.” Russian Literature 12, 233–36.
  • Fludernik, Monika (1991). “The Historical Present Tense Yet Again: Tense Switching and Narrative Dynamics in Oral and Quasi-Oral Storytelling.” Text 11, 365–98.
  • Fludernik, Monika (1992a). “The Historical Present Tense in English Literature: An Oral Pattern and its Literary Adaptation.” Language and Literature 17, 77–107.
  • Fludernik, Monika (1992b). “Narrative Schemata and Temporal Anchoring.” The Journal of Literary Semantics 21, 118–53.
  • Fludernik, Monika (1993). The Fictions of Language and the Languages of Fiction. The Linguistic Representation of Speech and Consciousness. London: Routledge.
  • Fludernik, Monika (1996). Towards a ‛Natural’ Narratology. London: Routledge.
  • Foley, Miles (1990). Traditional Oral Epic. The Odyssey, Beowulf, and the Serbo-Croatian Return Song. Berkeley: U of California P.
  • Foley, Miles (1995). The Singer of Tales in Performance. Bloomington: Indiana UP.
  • Goetsch, Paul (1985). “Fingierte Mündlichkeit in der Erzählkunst entwickelter Schriftkultur.” Poetica 17, 202–18.
  • Gülich, Elisabeth (1970). Makrosyntax der Gliederungssignale im gesprochenen Französisch. München: Fink.
  • Herman, David (1997). “Scripts, Sequences, and Stories. Elements of a Postclassical Narratology.” PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 112, 1046–59.
  • Herman, David (1999). “Toward a Socionarratology: New Ways of Analyzing Natural-Language Narratives.” D. Herman (ed). Narratologies. New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 218–46.
  • Hodge, Bob & Gunther Kress ([1979] 1993). Language as Ideology. London: Routledge.
  • Hutchby, Ian & Robin Wooffitt (1998). Conversation Analysis. Principles, Practices, Applications. Cambridge: Polity.
  • Jaworski, Adam & Nikolas Coupland, eds. (1999). The Discourse Reader. London: Routledge.
  • Johnstone, Barbara ([2002] 2008). Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Kerbrat-Orecchioni, Catherine (1996). La conversation. Paris: Seuil.
  • Kerbrat-Orecchioni, Catherine (2001). Les actes de langage dans le discours. Théorie et fonctionnement. Paris: Nathan.
  • Labov, William (1972). Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P.
  • Labov, William & Joshua Waletzky (1967). “Narrative Analysis: Oral Versions of Personal Experience.” J. Helm (ed). Essays on the Verbal and Visual Arts. Seattle: U of Washington P, 12–44.
  • Leech, Geoffrey N. & Michael H. Short (1981). Style in Fiction. A Linguistic Introduction to English Fictional Prose. London: Longman.
  • Levinson, Stephen C. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
  • Longacre, Robert E. ([1983] 1996). The Grammar of Discourse. New York: Plenum.
  • Lord, Albert (1960). The Singer of Tales. Cambridge: Harvard UP.
  • Lucius-Hoene, Gabriele & Arnulf Deppermann (2004). Rekonstruktion narrativer Identität: Ein Arbeitsbuch zur Analyse narrativer Interviews. Wiesbaden: VS für Sozalwissenschaften.
  • Mondada, Lorenza, ed. (1995). Formes linguistiques et dynamiques interactionelles. Lausanne: Institut de Linguistique des Sciences du Langage.
  • Ochs, Elinor & Lisa Capps (2001). Living Narrative: Creating Lives in Everyday Storytelling. Cambridge: Harvard UP.
  • Ong, Walter (1982). Orality and Literacy. London: Methuen.
  • Ono, Tsuyoshi & Sandra A. Thompson (1995). “What Can Conversation Tell Us About Syntax?” P. W. Davis (ed). Alternative Linguistics: Descriptive and Theoretical Modes. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 213–71.
  • Parry, Adam, ed. (1971). The Making of Homeric Verse. The Collected Papers of Milman Parry. Oxford: Clarendon.
  • Perks, Robert & Alistair Thomson, eds. ([1990] 2006). The Oral History Reader. London: Routledge.
  • Propp, Vladimir ([1928] 1968). Morphology of the Folktale. Austin: U of Texas P.
  • Psathas, George (1995). Conversation Analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Quasthoff, Uta (1980). Erzählen in Gesprächen. Tübingen: Narr.
  • Quasthoff, Uta & Tabea Becker, eds. (2005). Narrative Interaction. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Sacks, Harvey (1972). “An Initial Investigation of the Usability of Conversational Data for Doing Sociology.” D. Sudnow (ed). Studies in Social Interaction. New York: Free P, 31–74.
  • Sacks, Harvey(1992). Lectures in Conversation. Ed. G. Jefferson. 2 vols. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Sacks, Harvey et al. (1974). “A Simple Systematics for the Organization of Turn-taking for Conversation.” Language 50, 696–735.
  • Schegloff, Emanuel A. (2007). Sequence Organization in Interaction: A Primer in Conversation Analysis. Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
  • Schiffrin, Deborah (1981). “Tense Variation in Narrative.” Language 57, 45–62.
  • Schiffrin, Deborah (1987). Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
  • Schiffrin, Deborah et al. eds. (2001). Handbook of Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Schmid, Wolf (2005). Elemente der Narratologie. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  • Tannen, Deborah (1984). Conversational Style. Analyzing Talk Among Friends. Norwood: Ablex.
  • Tannen, Deborah (1989). Talking Voices. Repetition, Dialogue, and Imagery in Conversational Discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge UP.
  • Tannen, Deborah (1990). You Just Don’t Understand. Women and Men in Conversation. New York: Morrow.
  • Tedlock, Dennis (1983). The Spoken Word and the Work of Interpretation. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P.
  • Terkel, Studs ([1984] 1990). ‘The Good War.’ An Oral History of World War Two. New York: Ballantine.
  • van Dijk, Teun A., ed. (1997). Discourse Studies. 2 vols. London: Sage.
  • Vinogradov, Viktor ([1925] 1980). “The Problem of Skaz in Stylistics.” E. Proffer & C. R. Proffer (eds). The Ardis Anthology of Russian Futurism. Ann Arbor: Ardis.
  • Wittig, Susan (1978). Stylistic and Narrative Structures in the Middle English Romances. Austin: U of Texas P.
  • Wolfson, Nessa (1982). CHP. Conversational Historical Present in American English Narrative. Dordrecht: Foris.
  • Young, Katherine (1999). “Narratives of Indeterminacy: Breaking the Medical Body into its Discourses; Breaking the Discursive Body out of Postmodernism.” D. Herman (ed). Narratologies. New Perspectives on Narrative Analysis. Columbus: Ohio State UP, 197–217.

   [32]
5.2 Further Reading

  • Norrick, Neal R. (2000). Conversational Narrative. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Polanyi, Livia (1985). Telling the American Story: A Structural and Cultural Analysis of Conversational Storytelling. Norwood: Ablex.
  • Renkema, Jan (2004). Introduction to Discourse Studies. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
  • Ten Have, Paul (1999). Doing Conversation Analysis. A Practical Guide. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  • Zumthor, Paul ([1983] 1990). Oral Poetry. An Introduction. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P.

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Fludernik, Monika: "Conversational Narration - Oral Narration". In: Hühn, Peter et al. (eds.): the living handbook of narratology. Hamburg: Hamburg University Press.
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