Stand-Alone Facial Gestures as Other-Initiations of Repair




facial gestures, facial expressions, other-initiation of repair, preference for progressivity, multimodal interaction


Based on video recordings of everyday German face-to-face interaction, we focus on how eyebrow furrows, eyebrow raising, eye widening, and freeze-look are used without co-occurring verbal repair initiations to indicate a problem in another participant’s turn. Unlike verbal initiations, facial other-initiations of repair only minimally disrupt the progressivity of interaction, since they can be used simultaneously with the emerging trouble-source turn and do not initiate a side sequence. Through their early positioning and their sequentially unobstructive character, facial other-initiations of repair systematically provide an occasion for the speaker of the repairable turn to carry out self-repair at the next transition-relevance place. Our findings point to the necessity of reconsidering traditional conceptualizations of the repair system in order to take bodily repair-initiating practices into account.


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How to Cite

Stolle, S. I., & Pfeiffer, M. (2023). Stand-Alone Facial Gestures as Other-Initiations of Repair. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 6(3).