Schegloff: "Conveying Who You Are"

 Conveying who you are:
the presentation of self, strictly speaking

Emanuel A. Schegloff

6.1 Introduction

Of all the practices for referring to persons in talk-in-interaction, the most common and the most straightforward – at least for English – appears to be self- reference. For English, with very few exceptions (Schegloff 1996a: 443–45), a speaker refers to self with the dedicated term ‘I’ (and its grammatical variants – me, my, mine, etc.). This term is opaque with respect to all the usual key categorical dimensions – age, gender, status and the like, and is also insensitive to the history of prior reference – whether for the first or the nth occasion in some conversation or across multiple conversations, self is referred to as ‘I’.

In this chapter, I exploit one locus of self-reference that is different from the aforementioned routine – saying or otherwise conveying who you are either to a question inquiring about it (‘who are you?’, ‘who is this?’, etc.) or a sequential juncture that makes addressing this undertaking relevant. This locus is the opening section of American telephone calls before the advent of cell- phones and automatic caller-identification.1

The forms of self-identification or self-presentation at this interactional juncture are constrained by the same combination of conversational preferences examined elsewhere in the conversation-analytic literature on person-reference (Sacks 1972a, b, 1992; Sacks and Schegloff 1979, this volume; Schegloff 1996a) – recipient design and minimization. It is thus possible to see if these preferences behave in the same fashion in occasions of self-reference as was found to be the case in referring to third parties supposed to be known (or unknown) to the recipient. Furthermore, this investigation should allow us to specify more precisely than has been the case in the past how these preferences, and the preference for minimization in particular, are to be understood in their bearing on practices for referring to persons in talk-in-interaction – whether, for

1 Accounts of this locus of interaction 
can be found in Schegloff 1968, 1979, 1986, 2002[1970], 2002a, b, c 2004[1970]. Accounts of this locus, or parts of it, in other languages or cultures can be found in (inter alia) Godard 1977; Hopper 1992; Hopper and Chen 1996; Hopper, Doany, Johnson and Drummond 1991; Hopper and Koleilat-Doany 1989; Houtkoop-Steenstra 1991; Lindstro ̈m 1994; Taleghani-Nikazm 2002; and the various studies reported in Luke and Pavlidou 2002.

124 Emanuel A. Schegloff

example, it is the amount or complexity of the information that figures in the reference that is to be minimized or the form in which it is ‘packaged’.

In what follows, I first present a few elements of our current understanding of person reference drawn from past work on which the later parts of the chapter draw and which they presuppose. Secondly, I describe briefly some more recent work that complements the earlier work with results on other languages, and thereby contributes to specifying the import of the recipient-design and mini- mization preferences. Finally, I take up self-reference in the special environ- ment described above – an environment that may fall victim to the march of technology, as telephones come increasingly to be attached to persons and not to places. By the end of the last of these sections, we will see that speakers fashion even more elegant solutions in reconciling the constraints of recipient- design and minimization in doing self-reference than is the case in third-person reference. Finally, the discussion will turn briefly to extend the analysis from recipient-design as represented in personal recognizability, that is in ‘knowing who it is’, to the bearing on self-reference of the action/ topic/context that has been made relevant by the recipient.

6.2 Past resources

So first a brief overview of some key features of past conversation-analytic work on practices for referring to persons in talk-in-interaction and their organization, drawing mostly on two of the sources mentioned above (Sacks and Schegloff 1979 and Schegloff 1996a).
In studying how reference to persons is accomplished, we are in the first instance asking how speakers do reference to persons so as to accomplish, on the one hand, that nothing but referring is being done – what I will term ‘referring simpliciter’, or on the other hand that something else in addition to referring is being done by the talk practice that has been employed. Relatedly, we are asking how talk is analysed by recipients so as to find that ‘simple’ reference to someone has been done, or that the referring has carried with it other practices and outcomes as well.

What is meant by ‘referring simpliciter’? What concretely do ‘simply referring and nothing else’ on the one hand and ‘referring in such a way as to do something else as well’ refer to? In Example (1) Mark is chatting with three fellow students in their dorm room; another of the roommates had come in for a moment, interrupting the talk, and has just left.
Example (1)

1 Mark: 2
3 Sher:

SN-4, 6:1–17
Where were we. (0.5)
I dunno.1⁄4’ve you been studying lately,
4 5 6 7 8 9
Sher: Mark:
Mark: Mark:
a–> c–>
No, ’not et aw- not et a:l1:. I hafta study this whole week.<every ni:ght, {(hhhh)/(0.8)} en then I got s’mthing planned on Sunday with Lau:ra,
She- she wen- she ’n I are gonna go out

’n get drunk et four o’clock in the afternoon.
huh-huh hhh[h

[It’s a religious: (0.3) thing we’re gonna have.
I d’know why:,
Uh::m, (.) No- her ex boyfriend’s getting married en she:’s: gunnuh be depressed so:,

Conveying who you are 125

A reference like ‘Laura’ (at ‘a’) invites the recipients’ recognition of the one who is being referred to as someone that they know; a reference like ‘her ex boyfriend’ (at arrow ‘b’) turns out to provide not only a reference to a determinate person, but one that also provides an account for the anticipation of depression on Laura’s part (in a way in which ‘Paul’, or ‘a friend of Laura’s’, or ‘your cousin’, or ‘her accountant’ might not, even if they all referred to the same person); and the ‘she’ (at arrow ‘c’) does reference (or ‘re- reference’) simpliciter, that is doing non-initial referring and nothing else. To repeat the way in which I have broached the undertaking: How do speakers do reference to persons so as to accomplish, on the one hand, that nothing but referring is being done, and on the other hand that something else in addition to referring is being done by the talk practice that has been employed? And, how is the talk analysed by recipients to sort this out as well?

I asserted about ‘she’ at arrow (c) that it is doing referring simpliciter, but about ‘Laura’ at arrow (a) that it ‘invites the recipients’ recognition of the one who is being referred to as someone they know’. Is that not ‘doing something else’ in addition to referring? No, it is not. ‘Inviting the recipients’ recognition of the one who is being talked about as someone they know’ is a practice for referring, not a practice for doing something else, as ‘accounting for the depression’ is doing ‘something else’. For the people who hear transparently who is being referred to by ‘Laura’, that is how this speaker, speaking to these recipients, on this occasion, and so on, properly refers to her; it is not doing anything else. To have referred to her as ‘your former room mate’ (assuming that she was their former room mate) would have been doing something else.2

2 See the chapter by Stivers (this volume) on ‘alternative recognitionals’ for an examination of some ‘something else’s that a recognitional person reference can analysably do. Enfield (this volume) proposes to treat the incorporation of attributes such as age, gender, relative status, etc. as ‘something else’s that negate the characterization of the reference as referring simpliciter, but

126 Emanuel A. Schegloff

So what is meant by ‘referring simpliciter’ incorporates recipient design considerations and position in the history of reference in that occasion of interaction. In saying this I do not mean to be asserting a theorist’s prerogative or strategy; I mean to be describing the practices of speaking and under- standing employed by the participants.

The mention of ‘recipient design’ considerations gets us to the next bits of the past work that we will need to share here, and that is two preferences that are widely operative in conversation and have specific expressions for the domain of reference to persons.
One is a preference for minimization, that is, if reference is to be done, it should be done with a single reference form. There are of course many reference forms for any person, and many of them are combinable, but mas- sively in conversation, reference is done with a single form. One import of the preference is that if more than a single form is employed, it invites inspection for what that is about, about what is getting done thereby; it is accountable not in the first instance for us as analysts, but for the co-participants. Minimiza- tion, then, is clearly implicated in whether some occasion of referring is referring simpliciter or is doing something else as well.

The other preference that is widely applicable in conversation is the previously mentioned preference for recipient design. In its most general sense, this preference has participants shape their conduct – for us, specifi- cally their talk – for the recipients to whom they are addressed. This is as key a component as there is to the often diffuse notion of ‘adapted to context’. The way in which referring to persons is shaped by the preference for recipient design surfaced in the brief discussion of Example (1), and speci- fically the reference to Laura. The claim there was that it ‘invites the reci- pients’ recognition of the one who is being referred to as someone that they know’; and, indeed, it was selected to do so, the selection reflecting the speaker’s knowing that that is how these recipients knew that person. Of the two main practices of referring to persons that display a speaker’s stance that the referent is known to the recipient (and that mobilize in the recipient the resources for figuring out who that they know could be being referred to that way by this speaker), referent’s name is preferred if possible, and recogni- tional descriptors less so. We will soon arrive at how this preference figures in person-reference more generally than this particular data specimen. But we can already note this: The possibility that more than referring is being done may be triggered not only by doing a reference that is more than

I take that to embody the orientation of an outside observer, in contrast to that of the hearer(s) for whom the reference is designed, for whom these incorporated features are the transparent means for this speaker’s doing reference to that referent when addressing or in the presence of this/ these recipient(s).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

1–> 2–> 3–>
Conveying who you are 127

minimal, but also by referring in a fashion that diverges from recipient- design considerations (cf. Note 2).
6.3 Minimization and self-reference
We turn now to explore and elaborate empirically what we should understand by a ‘preference for minimization’ as it bears on person reference.

As was said earlier, a single reference form can do adequate reference, and reference is ‘preferredly done with a single reference form’ (Sacks and Schegloff 1979, reprinted in this volume). When more is used, it is accountable; that is, when more is used, parties to the interaction inspect it to find ‘why that now’ (Schegloff and Sacks 1973: 299). A data extract used to exemplify this point in the past is displayed as Example (2) (taken from Sacks and Schegloff this volume), now re-transcribed and somewhat differently analysed.
Ann and Bev are talking about an evangelical preacher who might be speaking in a nearby city, and how to arrange to attend:

Example (2)
SBL 2/2/4 (Sacks and Schegloff 1979: 19)
... well I was the only one other than .hhh than thee uhm (0.7) mtch! Fo:rds.
Uh Mrs. Holmes Ford? (0.8) You know the- [the the cellist?
[Oh yes. She’s- she’s (a)/(the) cellist.

[Well she and her husband were there,
. . .

Here Ann makes three tries at referring to the person she means to convey to her recipient. There are three because – and here comes its accountability, for us as analysts, and for them as co-conversationalists – there is trouble. In the run up to the first reference, the trajectory of Ann’s talk displays trouble: The developing course of the talk projects the name to occur at line 1, after ‘than;’ instead there is a break filled by an in-breath; then the ‘than’ is repeated – a second interruption of the talk’s progressivity (Schegloff 1979a); then a potential next word appears but is immediately followed by another stall – an ‘uhm’ followed by silence, and eventually by the name – ‘Fords’.

Referring by name is the prototype for ‘recognitional’ reference, that is referring in a way that conveys that the speaker supposes that the recipient knows (or knows of) the referent, and that the recipient can figure out who-that-they- know is being referred to from the form used to do the reference (Sacks and Schegloff this volume; Schegloff 1996a). When it is possible, recognitional reference is preferred (ibid.). So it is a recognitional reference that Ann is in the process of producing, but its production here is problematic (as is partially detailed in the preceding paragraph), and in such environments it is common for

128 Emanuel A. Schegloff
recipients to mark the success of its production by some recognition token. When no such display is forthcoming (after ‘Fords’), Ann adds a second try, different from the first and produces it this time as a ‘try’, with its upward intonation contour and space left for a sign of recognition, ‘uh Missiz Holmes Ford?’ (line 3); and again, this time in quite a long silence, there is no recognition; and before Bev can claim and then demonstrate recognition, Ann has already launched a third formulation, again marked as a try. So we get to see here three distinct instances of ‘a single reference form’, and we get to see and hear three of them because of the problematical-ness of the recognitional reference forms being tried.

Note then that each reference is packaged as ‘a form’, and that ‘a single form’ need not be a single word. It can be a phrase; it can be a clause; and, as shown elsewhere (Hacohen and Schegloff 2006, and see below for a sum- mary), it can be less than a word, an affix. Its minimality is not defined by words; it is better understood by its packaging: sometimes its grammatical construction, sometimes its delivery in some recognizably complete-for-now prosodic contour – whether up or down, sometimes a gestural component such as a point, and others. We will have to return later to the question of the ‘information load’ that a reference form delivers. And we will turn in Section 6.3 to evidence of an orientation to a preference for minimization in the course of production of a single instance, and not just the aggregate observation that reference to persons is massively done with single reference forms.3
With this account of minimization in hand, and with the understanding that a preference for minimization means in part that departure from minimization is accountable for what else is being done besides referring, we turn to interaction in languages with resources for referring to persons that are different in many respects from English. First, Hebrew.

In Hebrew, the verb is inflected in the past and future tenses for person (speaker, recipient, or other), for number (one or more) and for gender. There are, of course, pronouns for self- and other-reference as well; but the deployment of these free-standing pro-terms with past and future tensed verbs (although not with present tense verbs) is, conventionally speaking, redundant, for all the information is already obligatorily included in the verb form. Still, examination of recorded episodes of ordinary talk-in-interaction reveals that such usages of free-standing proterms with inflected verbs are not uncommon. Even if conventionally speaking ‘redundant’, conversation-analytically speaking, these usages are in principle not redundant. Speakers ‘know’ that person is inflected on the verb, and most often do not add a pronoun reference

3 Indeed, in the paper in which Example (2) was taken up, one of the key points was that when the preferences for minimization and recipient design cannot both be satisfied, recipient design takes precedence, but minimization is not abandoned; rather it is relaxed step by step, up to the point at which recipient design succeeds in securing recognition. We will return to this point at the end of Section 6.3.
01 PAT:–>
02 PAT:
03 DOC: 04 PAT: 05 DOC:
06 PAT:
a1⁄4ha::i <¥sensee¥ ata(h)shi(h) i-imaichi yoku- sono: Oh, Yes, < Doctor, I(h) not quite well that Oh, Yes, < Doctor, I (can) not clearly (tell)
hairan- (.) bi tteyuuno ga: ovulating- day so-called OP so-called ovulating day,

Conveying who you are 129

to verbs in past or future tense for which the subject is speaker or recipient. Accordingly, a speaker’s deployment of a free-standing pro-term is inspectable (both by co-participants and by investigators) for what else is being done thereby. Here, as elsewhere, observing the preference for minimization is a central feature of referring simpliciter – that is, doing ‘just referring’ and nothing else. Adding a pro-term reference when person is already conveyed in the verb constitutes a departure from this preference, and implements and conveys the accomplishment of something else in addition to simply referring. As reported elsewhere (Hacohen and Schegloff 2006), one environment in which such more-than-minimal references are found is the environment of mis- alignment – where a speaker is disagreeing or otherwise disaligning from recipient, or is reporting or prefacing such misalignment. And, as with the re-use of a locally initial reference form in locally subsequent position in third-person reference in English (Fox 1987; Schegloff 1996a), what is involved is an additional reference form with no addition to the referential information being conveyed.

Much the same configuration of form, information and action can be observed in so-called zero-anaphora languages. Here I can offer only a single exemplar in the hope of tempting colleagues with the relevant competence to undertake a more systematic investigation.

Of the Asian languages that are characterized by zero-anaphora for speaker self-reference, I draw on Japanese materials from a medical context.4 The self- referring pronoun in Japanese is here represented in Roman spelling as ‘atashi’.

Example (3) Aida (third visit)
[.hhh ke[kkoo ] quite
[wakari ma]sen [ka? tell not Q?
cannot tell?

[ha :i.

4 These data are drawn, with thanks, from Ob/Gyn doctor–patient interactions provided by Michie Kawashima in a Ph.D. Dissertation proposal, ‘Interactional Practices in Japanese OB/ GYN Consultations’, Department of Sociology, UCLA, June 2005. For Korean, see Oh, forthcoming.
130 Emanuel A. Schegloff 07 DOC: hai:.
08 PAT: (> wakari masen- <) tell not
cannot tell.

As in English and Hebrew, the provision of an additional reference form (one which carries no additional referential information) occurs in a negatively valenced action environment. Firstly, the patient is reporting a failure; sec- ondly, as Kawashima remarks, by referring to ‘ovulating day’ with a ‘so- called’, she displays her problematic control over the medical language per- taining to the trouble for which she has consulted the doctor; thirdly, Kawa- shima notes that this utterance is infiltrated by laugh particles that in this medical context occurs ‘ . . . around the time when they report something that is not “medically desirable” like drinking and so on. In this case, by inserting laughing particles, the patient may display her awareness that she should have been aware of the information about which she is inquiring’. And fourthly, she does not bring herself to actually articulate the failing that she is reporting, and it is the physician who ends up doing so. So this turn is beset by trouble in production that appears to be related to the trouble in other respects that is being reported. It is in this environment that the speaker articulates the self- referring expression ata(h)shi(h) (or, omitting the laugh particles, ‘atashi’), which is in Japanese referentially superfluous; it renders the self-reference more than minimal, and does so in the environment of trouble.

So far, then, we have re-use of a full NP where a pro-term could/should be used in ‘third-person’ reference (American English); an articulated deploy- ment of a self-referential pronoun when person is already morphologically inflected on the verb (Hebrew); and the articulation of a self-referential pro- noun where zero-anaphora already provides for the person reference to be understood (Japanese) – all of these more-than-minimal reference forms in environments of trouble and misalignment.

6.4 Recipient-design and self-reference

The way telephone conversation openings work in the United States, or at least worked before caller-ID and cell phones, involved the interactional issue of sorting out who the participants were.

On the whole, the issue was mostly mitigated for who the call-recipient was; the caller had dialled a number attached to a location, knew (if it was a so-called ‘personal call’) who the persons at the location were who might answer, and was thus primed not to figure out ‘who the other was’, but to recognize which one of the few people it could be, it actually was. And if they could not recognize that voice, they would figure either that they had dialled or reached the wrong number, or that there was some outsider – a guest, a work/service person and so
Conveying who you are 131

forth – who had answered for the people who ‘belonged’ there, and they would ask to speak to one of the residents. Of course it could turn out to be embar- rassing if it was one of the residents after all, and the caller had failed to recognize them; then there might be talk about having woken them up (cf. Schegloff 2005) or whether they had a cold, or some other account for failing to recognize one who had rights to be recognized by that caller, especially given the advantage of knowing the small set of possible answerers to begin with.

So, for the most part, when callers articulate the name of the answerer, they are not referring to them, they are addressing them. I say ‘for the most part’ because sometimes the answerer’s name is part of a question like ‘Is this Ms. So- and-so?’ as in Example (4), and in that case they are surely referring to them;

Example (4) ID, #295.295a (Schegloff 1979: 73d)
  1. 1  IL:
  2. 2  MT:
  3. 3  IL:
  4. 4  MT:
6 IL:
Hello, is this Missiz Thomas,
Hello this is Tasha Mann.1⁄4I’m calling for: Southern Nevada Music [Company.


And there are less determinate instances (e.g., (5)) that could be heard as fully formed questions or as slurred equivocations between a question and upward- intoned address term.
Example (5) JG,#73a (Schegloff 1979: 73a)
  1. 1  CP:
  2. 2  FM:
  3. 3  CP:
  4. 4  FM:
6 CP:
(z)Miz Parsons?

Fay Martin, Arthritis Foundation, the volunteer service,
Um hm.

On the other hand, the identification of the caller is virtually always an open issue needing to be dealt with. The issue is: ‘Who’s this?’ That is rarely asked as a question because callers who have no claim on the answerer will have identified themselves, thus answering the question before it is asked (as in the two exchanges just examined), while those who feel entitled to claim recognition are on the whole correct in their judgements, and know just what is needed for this answerer – and remember that they do not know which one it will be until the last minute until they hear the ‘hello’ – they know just what is needed for this answerer, at this time, given who they themselves are.

So we have here an interactional position in which routinely one person needs to address the issue of who they are – ‘who is this?’ The position can be

132 Emanuel A. Schegloff

characterized in terms of the overall structural organization of the type of conversation set by the medium – telephone conversation: namely, it is in the opening. Within the opening, its exact location can be specified in terms of the ordering and the organization of the sequences that compose an opening (Schegloff 1986), and by reference to the turns in which those sequences are played out: The locus is overwhelmingly in turns 2 through 4. So here is this place, this stage on which successive pairs of parties play out some variation of the tasks needing to get done in the opening of a conversation on the phone, one of which involves getting a solution (and sometimes a confirmation) about ‘who is calling’. How then do callers manage this person-reference issue – who they are, ‘who is this?’ And what can we learn from the practices employed here about how person reference works?5
The first thing to be done is to round up the usual preferences – recipient design and minimization. Who someone is depends on who is asking; and even if no one is asking, it depends on whom one is talking to. So we start with recipient design.

Earlier we had occasion to register one bearing that recipient design has on person-reference, and that was: If it’s possible, use a recognitional. Doing that involved a speaker figuring whether the recipient knew the referent and how; and whether the recipient knew that the speaker knew that the recipient knew the referent, and how the recipient knew the referent. When we touched on this before, what was in question was reference to so-called ‘third parties’; here, of course, the speaker and the referent are the same. So, from the caller’s point of view, the issue implicated by ‘if it’s possible’ is: Does the answerer know me and how does he or she know me; does the answerer know that I know that they know me and in that way.6

  1. 5  And may I say on behalf of this genre, which is often dismissed for the parochialism it is taken to exude, that it is no less worthy of serious inquiry than political debates, or religious ceremonies, or healing rituals, or any of the other particular settings of interaction studied in societies other than our own. Their familiarity should not breed contempt; it puts distinctive obstacles in the path of indigenous investigators. The discussion in this section draws heavily on an earlier, now virtually inaccessible paper (Schegloff 1979); I am indebted to Steve Levinson for suggesting that its materials could be reworked for this volume’s topic.

  2. 6  For those who find these iterations hard to follow, perhaps this will help. I often find myself walking on campus and encountering someone coming the other way who was an undergraduate student in my class. And we have this odd game of not-quite-mutual gaze. They look at me half expectantly, and as my eyes start coming to them they look away, figuring that there is no way I would recognize them as they recognize me, and to be caught looking at me like that would be . . . what? Intrusive? Presumptuous? Mocking? And if the pas de deux goes their way, we pass each other without ever meeting one another’s gaze and with no mutual acknowledgement; and if it goes my way, I trap them, and recognize them – sometimes by name which blows their mind – and we greet each other, and it’s very nice. This is the way the logic plays out when the very issue is whether there is to be any interaction at all in the first place. On the telephone, the parties are already in the interaction, so it plays out a bit
Conveying who you are 133

But there is another maxim of recipient design: ‘Don’t tell the other what you suppose – or what you ought to suppose – he or she already knows; use it’. What bearing might this have on our ‘caller’s problem’? Well, if the caller figures that the answerer knows him or her, and that the answerer knows that that caller figures this, and if the caller furthermore figures that this is what the answerer ought to know, then caller should not tell answerer who he or she is, but should instead use or exploit answerer’s knowledge. And that’s one thing that callers massively do, and this is what it sounds/looks like:
Example (6) TG, 1 (Schegloff 1979: #42)

2 Ava:
3 Bea: –> 4 Ava:

((ring)) H’llo:? hHi:,

Example (7) NB, #114 (Schegloff 1979: #44)
2 Cla: 3 Agn: 4 Cla:

Oh: hi:: ’ow are you Agne::s,

Example (8) HG 2
2 Nan: 3 Hyl: 4 Nan:


In their first turn, callers do a greeting that in the first instance claims to have recognized the answerer as the person they meant to reach, and which also provides a voice sample to the answerer from which callers, in effect, propose and require that the answerer recognize them. In these three instances, it is about as small a voice sample as it could be; some callers are a bit more generous and say ‘hello’, providing the answerer with two syllables from which to recognize. In these three instances, and in a great many more, it works. With no hearable delay, answerers return the greeting in the next turn, which serves not only to reciprocate the greeting, but to claim that answerers have reciprocated the recognition as well. The operative word here is ‘claim’; in Example (7) Clara shows that she has recognized the caller (her sister) by addressing her by name; in Example (6) and (8), no such demonstration is provided.

In fact, in both cases, the answerers had indeed recognized their callers. But this is not always the case; it can turn out that the answerer was cheating. In
differently, but the same logic is involved. I know him, but does he know me? and does he know that I know him? and does he know that I know that he knows me?

134 Emanuel A. Schegloff
Example (9), for example, Rebecca’s return greeting at line 4, although feeble in its production, claims that she has recognized her caller – a claim that is belied by her exclamation at line 6, which is where she has truly recognized and proves it, and then greets him again, and rather more robustly, at line 8, this greeting making an honest woman of her.

Example (9)

Arthur and Rebecca 1
((ring ring)) H’lo,

How you doin Arthur!
H(huh [huh)i

[.hhh hoh hoh hoh hoh
2 Reb: 3Art: 4Reb: 5 Art: 6 Reb: 7 Art: 8 Reb: 9 Art:

–> –>

In Example (9), the answerer needed just a little more to work on – whether more voice sample, whether a characteristic well-being inquiry, we don’t know – but she was able to ‘get it’ on her own. Sometimes, however, answerers can not get it on their own, and perhaps sense that they are too far from recognition to pretend and be able to recognize in time to avoid being caught out. As in Example (10), they are reduced to asking flat out, ‘Who’s this?’.
Example (10) CF, #130 (Schegloff 1979: 49a)

2 Chs: 3 Gds: 4
5 Chs: 6 Gds: 7
8 Chs:

((ring)) Hello? Hello.
Who’s this.
Who is this.1⁄4 This is your (0.2)

friendly goddess,
OHhh, uh::, can I ask for a wish

Un-surprisingly, Charlie’s girl friend takes a bit of umbrage in her mock- astonished repeat of his question, and then gives him another chance, with a very broad hint.
Even more extraordinary is Example (11). Example (11) TC I(b)13 (Drew 2002)
2 Jer: 3 Lin: 4
5 Lin: 6 Jer:

((phone rings)) (W’chuhr Delivery,)
Hey Jerry?
(.) .h[h [Ye:[s.
7 Lin: 8 Jer: 9 Lin:
12 Jer: 13 Lin: 14 Jer: 15 Lin: 16 Jer: 17 Lin: 18 Jer:

20 Lin: 21 Jer: 22 Lin: 23 Jer: 24 Lin:

Conveying who you are 135
[He:y:- you don’haftuh bring’ny paper
I think ah’ll jus:t use the plates ah’v go::t,hh
Who’s thi:s.
henh H[i::.
[Wuhdihyou man uwho(h)’s[this,
[heh heh .hh
[Hm::. huh hu-eh .hu::[:h.
[Oh::: yeah fine?en you?

Here the answerer cheats at line 8, but cannot recover in time as Rebecca did in Example (10), in spite of quite a long utterance at lines 9–10, an utterance so recipient-designed for him that one would have thought that it would be enough of a clue to trigger a recognition even if he did fail to recognize the voice as that of . . . his WIFE! Her response at line 16 echoes that of Charlie’s goddess in Example (10): ‘What do you mean “who’s this”!’7

These misadventures aside, the success rate appears to be very high for what is, after all, in its own way a very delicate operation. Out of all their possible callers, answerers have to pick out just who this one is from pretty much the smallest voice sample you can give without mechanical interference – just ‘hi’.

So to the question we are pursuing here – what form of person reference is to be used in keeping with recipient-design considerations when the person to be referred to is yourself – one answer appears to be: ‘none, if you can manage to do without it’. Of course, if your effort fails, there is embarrassment for both parties, and that may be good grounds for proceeding more cautiously. But we will get to that in a moment.

What if a caller was actually going to articulate an answer to the virtual question, ‘who is this?’ What should they say? Well, going back to the first paragraph of this chapter (and the previously outlined organization of resources for person reference in Schegloff 1996a), we go to the top, where, you will recall, the most common person references – those for speaker and recipient – are dealt with by dedicated terms, namely, ‘I’ or ‘me’ and ‘you’. So, surely that is what a caller should do if he or she is going to actually answer the question that is in the air, even if it has not been articulated. And indeed, that is

7 Those who would like to know how a husband can come to not recognize his wife’s voice can find out, in detail, in a very nice paper by Paul Drew (2002).

136 Emanuel A. Schegloff

what she does do in Example (12). It sounds/looks like this:
Example (12) MDE, Supp. (Schegloff 1979: #59)
2 Mar: 3 Mom: 4 Mar:

((ring)) Hello? 1⁄4 Hello it’s me. Hi.

So here we have yet another instance of a person reference that conveys no new information (following the earlier ones, the Hebrew use of the self-referring pronoun when person is already marked on the verb, using a pronoun when reference is retrievable from zero anaphora in Japanese, and re-using the locally initial reference term in locally subsequent position in disagreement contexts in American English). Perhaps it could be said to add some infor- mation – it provides an expanded voice sample as well as taking up the stance that the caller is someone who can invite recognition via ‘it’s me’; it is a claim of entitlement. In Example (12), the caller is the elderly mother of the answerer.

Earlier I promised to return to the possibility that some callers might proceed more cautiously. So let us go to the most cautious ways of proceeding and then work our way back from there to the more risky, and forward from a simple ‘hi’ to the more cautious, keeping in mind what we are after: Given that the basic resources for referring to self and other, or to speaker and recipient, are dedicated words – ‘I/me’ and ‘you’ – how is self-reference done where these are not usable?
In Example (13), the caller is trying to reach Pat, a friend and colleague teacher whose house had burned down the previous day. She is calling the home of the friend’s parents, whom she doesn’t know and who don’t know her.
Example (13) RF, #180 (Schegloff 1979: #61)

2 Ans: 3 Pen: 4
6 Ans:

Pt. hh H:i. This is Penny Rankin
from Lincoln.1⁄4I’m a friend of Pa:t’s. can I speak t’her at all?

First of all, we may note that she does not simply ask to talk to Pat, though she will end this turn with such a request, qualified in a way that shows she is aware of the delicate state Pat may be in (‘at all’ conveys ‘even for just a little’). So one feature of the job this self-reference must do is to legitimate her access to the one being sheltered. How is it done?
The self-reference is done in two referring units, each of which has two components. The first referring unit is delivered as such by its framing with ‘This is . . . ’; the first referring expression is her name, delivered as first name and last name – not for them to be recognized (therefore not ‘This is
  1. 2  Ire:
  2. 3  JsM:
  3. 4  Ire:
  4. 5  JsM:
Hello, i- This is Jan’s mother. Oh yes.
Is Jan there by any chance?

Conveying who you are 137

Penny’), but for delivery by the one who has answered to Pat, if indeed the answerer is prepared to be the instrument of access. The turn-constructional unit could have been possibly complete here – it is grammatically possibly complete, it has done a recognizable action, and is on its way to prosodic closure as well. But its prosody is at the last moment modified and extended to include ‘from Lincoln’. ‘Lincoln’ is the name of the school at which she and Pat teach, and this is a name that is very likely a recognitional for her parents. So the first referring unit includes a name by which she (the caller) can be referred to in speaking to the target of the call, and a putative relationship to Pat via the work place.8

The second referential unit is built to say plainly what the first had only intimated – and that is her relationship to Pat: ‘I’m a friend of Pat’s’. This TCU is delivered cheek-by-jowl with the first; the speaker interdicts any possibility of the answerer getting to talk before this second instalment has been com- pleted (marked in the transcript by the equal sign in the space between the prior unit and the following one). The upshot then is this: if the callers cannot present themselves or formulate themselves as recognizables – that is by name alone – then they can use a recognitional descriptor, one prototype of which is to formulate themselves by reference to someone who can be referred to by what is for this recipient a recognitional. Here, if you cannot (or will not) say ‘this is Penny’, you can say ‘I’m a friend of Pat’s’.

Another exemplar of the same sort follows, in (14): Example (14) ID, #233 (Schegloff 1979: #63)
Here, Irene is the mother of a 14-year-old girl, and the caller, after greeting her (line 3), starts to ask for her – the caller’s – same-aged daughter; this is the ‘i-’ that follows the ‘hello’. But she stops herself, and first tells who she is, and, with that, why she is entitled to ask this question and make this request (just as, in Example (13), Penny’s self-presentation concerned, pre-eminently among other things, the grounds of her entitlement to make the request she is making, and, indeed, to make any claim on the answerer). Here there is no
8 I am tempted to push further and note that, though she gave her own first and last names, she gives the school only its first name. By this I mean that it is almost certainly ‘Lincoln High School’, but to say ‘This is Penny Rankin from Lincoln High School’ risks being heard as an official call like those in Examples (4) and (5). Referring to it, and her relationship to it, as ‘from Lincoln’ avoids such a sense, and is the way fellow teachers may refer to the place at which they teach.

138 Emanuel A. Schegloff

giving of name. There is, however, the same practice of self-reference used in (13): a frame for self-identification, ‘This is’ and a recognitional reference and relationship term to the bearer of that recognitional reference, here ‘Jan’s mother’.

In these two instances, in common with the two business calls at (4) and (5), the callers have no self-referential recognitionals to use with their current recipients; the alternative is to refer to themselves by relationship to another for whom there is a recognitional. (This associative usage – referring to the referent by giving the referent’s relationship to another who can be referred to by a recognitional reference form – will be found in many other chapters of this volume.)

With Examples (15)–(17) we come to exchanges in which the callers can and do recognize their answerers, and are entitled to recognition from those answerers, but not necessarily from voice sample alone.
Example (15) (ID, #234a) (Schegloff 1979: #30)

2 Bon: 3 Dav:

Hi Bonnie. This is Dave.

Example (16) F, #164 (Schegloff 1979: #65)
  1. 2  Chs:
  2. 3  Gen:
  3. 4  Chs:
  4. 5  Gen:
Hello. Charlie?1⁄4Gene. Oh, Hi1⁄4

1⁄4The whole weekend I forgot to tell you, I have this book,
Example (17) MDE, Stalled
  1. 2  Mar:
  2. 3  Don:
  3. 4  Mar:
  4. 5  Mar:
  5. 6  Don:
  6. 7  Mar:
  7. 8  Don:
’lo Marcia,1⁄4[(’t’s) D]onny.
[Y e a :h]
Hi Donny. Guess what.hh What.
·hh My ca:r is sta::lled.

And so we find first a display (and not merely a claim) of having recognized the answerer, and then, either with or without the self-identificatory frame, a self- referral by first name alone. In the second and third of these instances, the two parts are compacted: no greeting term for the answerer or a compressed and truncated one, no self-identification frame for the caller or a compressed one, no break between the first name and the second. This is a signature form for either a re-call, that is calling back after having just talked, or for an opening
2 Ils: 3 Bet: 4 Ils:

((ring)) Hello:, H’Ilo Ilse? Yes. Be:tty.
  1. 2  Dna:
  2. 3  Jim:
  3. 4  Jim:
  4. 5  Dna:
((ring)) [Hello?] [Hello, ]
H’llo, Donna? Oh. yeah, Hi Jim,

Conveying who you are 139

that displays from the very start the urgency of the business of the call (as is clear in (17)). With or without this compaction, there is no contingency here; the caller does not wait after the initial unit of their turn to see whether the answerer will recognize them, and in the case of (15) where there is no com- paction, there is no evidence that answerer was prepared to display recognition before self-identification.

In the next group of instances, however, this is exactly what happens. Here, the callers greet their answerers together with what appear to be uncertain recognitions of their identity. I have argued elsewhere (1979), however, that these upward intonations are different from the ones that embody serious reservations as to the identity of the answerer. These instead provide minimally coercive opportunities for the answerer to recognize the caller without caller self-identification.9 In Examples (18) and (19), the recognition is evidenced by addressing the caller before caller self-identifies; in (20) the answerer’s ‘Oh hi’ is apparently good enough for the caller; and in (21) and (22) the callers’ addressing of the answerer as ‘Mom’ or ‘Ma’ can leave little doubt who the caller is.

Example (18) D, #231 (Schegloff 1979: #68)
Example (19) JH, #86 (Schegloff 1979: #69)
Example (20) CF, #153 (Schegloff 1979: #72)
  1. 2  Chs:
  2. 3  Max:
  3. 4  Chs:
  4. 5  Max:
  5. 6  Chs:
Hello, Charlie? Oh, hi.
Hiya guy¿ Awright¿

9 More coercive forms are composed of the same package of greeting þ address term, but with downward intonation (as in Example 24); this is almost in the same category as just ‘Hi’. The upward intonation in the examples that follow in the text allows a simple confirmation as next turn.

140 Emanuel A. Schegloff

Example (21) D, #296 (Schegloff 1979: #70)
2 Ire: 3 Deb: 4 Ire:

((ring)) Hello:, Hello mo:m? Debbie?
Example (22) (RF, #179) (Schegloff 1979: #86)
  1. 2  Mom:
  2. 3  Deb:
  3. 4  Mom:
  4. 5  Deb:
((ring)) Hello:, Hello M::A?
1⁄4It’s me::.

So it is possible for caller to get recognized without self-reference and without having done a first turn that required recognition by answerer. In Examples (23) and (24) we hear two callers trying to bring this off, and in this connection it may be apt to introduce another practice of recipient design, one which is in a way a corollary of ‘don’t tell recipient what you ought to suppose s/he already knows; use it’. The corollary is: ‘over suppose and under tell’. Its moral is: ‘Better to credit your interlocutor with more than they know than to presume they know less than they do’. In (23) and (24) the callers over-suppose and under-tell, and turn out to have to tell more after all, although in (23) Linda protests that she had indeed recognized her caller; and in (24) Charlie as much as tells Joop that hearing from him is so unexpected that the solicitation of recognition had little chance of success.

Example (23) D, #212a (Schegloff 1979: #49)
2 Lin: 3 Bon: 4
5 Bon: 6 Lin:

((ring)) Hello¿
Hi Linda¿

’s Bonnie.1⁄4

1⁄4Yeh I know1⁄4I’ve been trying to call you a- all afternoon.
Example (24) CF, #145 (Schegloff 1979: #48)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Chs: Jop:
((ring)) Hello?
Hello Charles. (0.2)

This is Joop.
Oh hello Joop.
How are you heh heh Alr(hh)ight hah hah it’s hh

very funny to hear(hh) from you.
  1. 2  Bon:
  2. 3  Bar:
  3. 4  Bon:
  4. 5  Bar:
  5. 6  Bon:
((ring)) .hhh Hello¿
Hi Bonnie¿ Hi.1⁄4
1⁄4It’s Barbie.1⁄4 1⁄4Hi.
2 Lau:
3 (.)

Conveying who you are 141

In these two examples, the callers provide a voice sample, and the name by which they are entitled to address the answerer, and wait to see if they can get recognized from those resources alone with no self-reference. We are dealing here with the simultaneous bearing of minimization and recipient design – whether for this recipient the speaker can achieve the relevant outcome, namely, recognition, with the most minimal reference term – zero, as had been done by the callers in Examples (18) to (22). Only the briefest of intervals is allowed for success to be achieved, and, when there is no recognition, the callers yield and provide self-identification by first name alone that succeeds – the minimization embodied in voice sample alone having been sacrificed for the achievement of recipient design.

A similar sort of test is run at another notch up the information scale. In the recently examined Example (20) the caller’s ‘Hello, Charlie?’ was met with an ‘Oh hi’, and although there was no proof of recognition of the sort delivered by an address term, the ‘Oh hi’ was accepted by the caller as evidence of having been recognized, and he proceeds to the next sequence type due in the opening, a ‘how are you’. It is worth noting the ‘oh’ that preceded that ‘hi’; it is a common token of what Heritage (1984b) terms a ‘change-of-state’, marking the consequentiality of what has just preceded, in this case its furnishing that material for recognition.

In Examples (25) to (27) we get very similar starts to these conversations, except that the answerers’ ‘hi’s in their second turns are not preceded by the change-of-state token ‘Oh’, and that appears to trigger for callers the possi- bility that they have not in fact been recognized. Notice that in each case, the caller subsequently tells who it is, with ‘It’s þ FN’, in effect treating the greeting as a mere courtesy and not as convincing evidence of having been recognized.

Example (25) ID, #275a (Schegloff 1979: #75)
Example (26) LL, #30 (Schegloff 1979: #76) 1 ((ring))
4 Mic: 5 Lau: 6 Mic: 7 Lau:
Hello, hi Laura,
Howyadoin. it’s Michael. Hi Michael, how are you:.

142 Emanuel A. Schegloff
Example (27) ID, #246 (Schegloff 1979: #77)
  1. 2  Jim:
  2. 3  Bon:
  3. 4  Jim:
  4. 5  Bon:
  5. 6  Jim:
((ring)) H’llo, Hello Jim? Hi-,
Hi. it’s Bonnie. Yeah I know

Then in Examples (28) to (31), instead of getting even an ‘oh-less’ ‘Hi’ to their ‘greeting þ upward-intoned address term’ they get a confirmatory ‘yeah’, itself with upward intonation. Then note that in each case, when the caller self- identifies, there is a delay in registering recognition – in each of the specimens at line 6. So use of first name – the first self-reference form to carry information over and above the voice sample – is in these instances only barely sufficient to be met by recognition.

Example (28) JG, Supp. (Schegloff 1979: #78)
  1. 2  Cat:
  2. 3  Sta:
  3. 4  Cat:
  4. 5  Sta:
7 Cat:

((ring)) Hello?
Hi:. Cathy? Yeah? Stanley.

Hi Stan,

Example (29) JG, Supp. (Schegloff 1979: #90)
  1. 2  Cat:
  2. 3  Lor:
  3. 4  Cat:
  4. 5  Lor:
7 Cat:

Hello: ((weak)) H’llo, Cathy?
This is Lorraine.

Oh hi honey, how[areya.

Example (30) LL, #31 (Schegloff 1979: #91)
  1. 2  Lan:
  2. 3  Bri:
  3. 4  Lan:
  4. 5  Bri:
7 Lan:

H’llo Lana? Yeah?
This’ Brigette.

(0.3) Hi:.
Example (31) CF, #167 (Schegloff 1979: #92)
2 Chs: 3 Mar: 4 Chs:

5 Mar: 6
7 Chs:

Hi this’s Marian. (0.2)
Oh, hi:.
Conveying who you are 143

And, indeed, when callers get to that point – in these openings at line 5 – and give what appears to be still a single reference form but one with more information, as in Examples (32) and (33) where they formulate themselves with FN þ LN, they get recognitions with no delay.

Example (32) CF, #177 (Schegloff 1979: #80)
  1. 2  Mar:
  2. 3  Ber:
  3. 4  Mar:
  4. 5  Ber:
  5. 6  Mar:
((ring)) Hello? Hello, Mary? Yes?
Hi. This is Bernie Hunter. Oh hello. How are you.
Example (33) NB, #109a (Schegloff 1979: #82)
  1. 2  Ed:
  2. 3  Guy:
  3. 4  Ed:
  4. 5  Guy:
  5. 6  Ed:
  6. 7  Guy:
((called to phone)) Hello:¿
Guy Huston.
Hi Guy, howya doin.


So there is another bump up here. The first was from self-presentation without self-reference to self-reference by FN alone, and even that was borderline when the response to the caller’s first turn had been merely confirmatory; those callers might be said to have barely gotten away with it. And we have just seen several callers who follow a ‘yeah’ reception of their first turn without even trying self-reference by first name alone, they go directly to FN þ LN.

But just as there were instances where the caller greeted the answerer and waited for recognition, and when it was not forthcoming referred to themselves by FN, so are there callers who test the waters the same way at the next level up. In Examples (34) and (35), they proffer a just FN self-reference, and when there is not quick uptake, they add LN. And just as at (23) and (24) we found in one case the briefest of silences before the caller did a self-reference and in another a longer wait (0.2 seconds), so do we find them here. In Example (34), the caller waits half a second; in (35) there is virtually no silence, only an intonation contour that falls to a full stop at the end of the first name, and then immediately delivers the last name.

Example (34) LL, #25 (Schegloff 1979: #93)
1 ((ring)) 2 Lau: H’llo:,
Emanuel A. Schegloff
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Pet: Lau:
Laura, Ye:s,
It’s Peter.

HI: just a minute, let me close thee uh thing.

Example (35) (TAC, #121) (Schegloff 1979: #94) (no sound)
  1. 2  Sus:
  2. 3  Jud:
  3. 4  Sus:
  4. 5  Jud:
  5. 6  Sus:
Hi. Susan?

This’s Judith. Rossman. JUdith!

In both instances the recognition is betokened by an almost exuberant excla- mation from the call-recipient, suggesting that the callers were right in their initial recipient design. In (35), it subsequently turns out that the caller has been away in South America for an extended period of time, and the call recipient has therefore not been oriented to her as ‘a potential caller’ (Schegloff 1979: 59, 75–6, note 46). Apparently herself orienting to this possibility, the caller has nonetheless tried to achieve recognition from just first name, but has monitored its reception at an exceptional level of granularity, along the fol- lowing lines: She has, in her first turn at line 3, provided an expanded voice sample, and a display of being on a ‘first name’ basis with answerer, but has proceeded non-coercively, providing an opportunity at line 4 for answerer simply to confirm her identity; then caller provides a self-identification frame – ‘this is’, and then her two-syllable name. Given her relationship with answerer, caller may well orient to the possibility that all answerer should need (given all the preceding recognition resources) is the first syllable of the name – ‘Jud’ – and the greeting might occur in overlap with its second syllable.10 When the second syllable is delivered with no overlapping uptake, Judith is ready to deliver immediately the last name that would (under other circumstances) not have been necessary. And Susan’s uptake may be understood to validate the analysis (both Judith’s and the external analysts’) – it is only because Judith’s presence in the scene is unexpected and surprising that she was not recognized earlier.

10 I have, in the past, been sceptical about Davidson’s claims (1984, 1990) about a so-called ‘monitor space’ in which a just-finishing speaker can monitor for an aligning or preferred response to the incipiently finishing turn in overlap with the last bits of the finishing turn and anticipate a dispreferred response if no such overlap occurs. Davidson proposed this for turns doing actions such as invitations, offers, requests and proposals, I remain unconvinced that the absence of overlap is so understood as a matter of course in such sequences But such a monitor space may well be a feature of talk in which close attention is paid to how much of a current turn is needed before recognition of its speaker is achieved and welcomed.

Conveying who you are 145
Finally, we may note that, in both instances, the addition of the last name is done as an increment to the preceding turn constructional unit, rather than as a separate turn component.11 This serves as a way of reconciling the claims of recipient design with those of minimization. In each case, the caller has taken up the stance that self-identification by first name alone should be enough to achieve recognition from this recipient. In each case the caller has found that their recipient-designed resource has failed to secure recognition and they add an additional resource. But by making that additional resource into an increment to the preceding turn-constructional unit, the self-reference is made to conform to the preference for minimization by being constituted by a single reference form, while slipping additional information into that single reference form. Therein we can see the joint operation of minimization and recipient design not only in an aggregate of exemplars, but in the moment-to-moment realization of particular instances. And we have here an even more elegant resolution of the apparent problem of concurrently satisfying the two preferences for minimization and recipient design than was found in previous work (Sacks and Schegloff, this volume and see Note 3) – more elegant in that recognition is achieved from what is brought off as a single reference form.

6.5 The mundane and not so mundane . . . and a conclusion

Most of what we have been looking at (and listening to, for those who have consulted the audio) is mundane, routine stuff – relationships being confirmed or slightly upgraded or downgraded by the supposedly routine bits of business of people’s ordinary lives. But these practices, resources and preferences inform quite un-ordinary and dramatic moments as well – moments in which one might have thought the parties had more than enough other things of moment to be oriented to. So let me end the empirical materials of this presentation with such an instance.
At the outset of this chapter, its topic was characterized as practices for a speaker’s referring to self in a distinctive locus of self-reference – ‘ . . . saying or otherwise conveying who you are either to a question inquiring about it (“who are you?”, “who is this?”, etc.) or a sequential juncture which makes

11 As described elsewhere (Schegloff 2001), an increment has the following features: (1) A speaker has brought a turn-constructional unit (TCU) and, with it, ordinarily a turn, to possible completion, pragmatically, grammatically and prosodically; (2) following this, there is further talk by the same speaker; and (3) that further talk is fashioned not as a new TCU, but as a
continuation of the preceding TCU, most robustly by making it grammatically fitted to, or symbiotic with, that prior TCU, and, in particular, to its end. In linguistic terms, as Ford, Fox and Thompson put it (2002), it is fashioned as a ‘constituent’ of the preceding TCU; (4) the positioning of the vast majority of increments is either in the next beat following the possible completion of the TCU as is the last name in Example (35) or following a brief delay following the possible completion of the TCU.

146 Emanuel A. Schegloff
addressing this undertaking relevant’. Until now we have examined only exemplars of self-reference in the second of these loci; so we end with one in which the ‘who’s this?’ question is actually asked.

This is a telephone call from a radio station to a bank that they had heard was being robbed. We do not hear the ring, and we do not hear the answerer’s first turn, which we must suppose was not the usual institutional self-identification, but something more like ‘hello’. And then this:
Example (36)

Bank Robbery
((no ring or answer recorded))
(Wh)’t’s goin on out there.I understand

y’got a robbery. (0.8)
Uh yes.Who’s this speaking please?
2 WGN/Don: 3

  1. 5  Robber:
  2. 6  WGN/Don:
  1. 8  Robber:
  2. 9  WGN/Don
11 Robber: 12

  1. 13  Robber:
  2. 14  WGN/Don:
16 Robber: 17

  1. 21  WGN/Don:
  2. 22  Robber:
27 WGN/Don: 28

  1. 29  WGN/Don:
  2. 30  Robber:
  3. 31  WGN/Don:
  1. 33  Robber:
  2. 34  WGN/Don:
36 Robber: 37
38 Police1 39
40 Police1: 41
42 Police1: 43

–> –>
doubleyou, gee, en. (0.8)
doubleyou gee en? Yessir.
W’ll this’z the robber.

‘r the so- so-called robber, I guess.

Whuddiyuh doin in there.
Well I- (1.0) I just wanna tell you honestly, WGN, I- I tried to make it theeuh (1.2) the shortest way possible,

en it’s the wrong way.
W’ll what’s going on now, sir.

W’ll I- I’m surround(‘d), en (0.5) at this moment I would like to uh (0.5) request that I have a (minister) because I’m going to take my li:fe,
No, don’t do tha:t. Wait a second.

Are the police outside, er are they inside.1⁄4

1⁄4Yeah. Just a secon.1⁄4
1⁄4What’s going on there sir,
this’z Don Harris again.
Yeah1⁄4the- (.) they’ve surrounded the bank here. Ye:s,

(0.8) And uh:
((yelling)) Awright get ‘em up, (0.2)


Conveying who you are 147

Whatever the answerer may have said upon answering the phone, it seems clear that the call was made ‘to the bank’. When the caller says (lines 1–2) ‘I understand y’got a robbery’, the ‘you’ is analysably hearable as ‘the- bank-as-represented-by-its-agent-who-has-answered’. When the answerer confirms the ‘my side telling’ (Pomerantz 1980), he does so diffidently with his ‘uh yes’ (line 4), for he knows he is not the one he has been taken to be. But before addressing that matter, he does as call-recipients do before proceeding to the business at hand: He asks who this is. ‘Who this is’ is, in one sense, Don Harris, as he says at line 32; but in another sense, the ‘who this is’ that ‘called the bank’ is ‘WGN-the-radio-station-as-represented-by- its-agent-who-has-called’. Furthermore, while there is no reason to believe that the questioner would recognize ‘Don Harris’, there is every reason to believe that he would recognize ‘WGN’ – which was at the time the CBS- affiliated radio station in Chicago, and one of that city’s major news stations.
With the caller’s self-reference confirmed (lines 8–9), the answerer now replies. No one has asked him who he is, but he knows he has been taken for ‘the-agent-of-a-bank-being-robbed’, and he knows that is incorrect; and he means to correct it. How should he say who he is? No one will recognize his name; he needs to say ‘who-he-relevantly-is-in-the-interaction-in-which-he- is-participating’. The caller has called about the bank’s robbery (‘I understand y’got a robbery’); the caller is ‘the media’; so filling in the missing slot in this scenario, he says ‘This’s the robber’.

Not ‘a robber’; ‘the robber’ – ‘the robber’ that goes with ‘the bank that’s having a robbery’ about which ‘WGN has called’. The contrast drawn in the preceding sentence is not my invention; it is the answerer’s doing. For he knows that although he is indeed ‘the robber’ for the episode being played out in his life for all the world to hear, he is not ‘a robber’. As he says, ‘or the so-called robber, I guess’. Hence, my title: ‘Conveying who you are: The presentation of self, strictly speaking’.

In this last exemplar, we can see how ‘recipient-design’ can have an import other than ‘personally recognizable’, but one grounded in the-course- of-action-implicated-by-recipient – that is, by reference to what the recipient is (taken to be) oriented to. Overwhelmingly (at least in the data so far examined) persons are most known to others – known in the sense of being recognizable – by name; and, just as name is the preferred form of recog- nitional reference for third party reference (Schegloff 1996a: 458–64), it is name that persons give from which to be recognized on a given occasion, or as a resource from which to be recognized on future occasions. But this may be filled out with institutional affiliation (as in (4) and (5)), intermediary linkages (as in (13) and (14)), the way they figure in recipient’s life (as in (10)), or in a course of action or context in which the parties are implicated

148 Emanuel A. Schegloff

or to which they are oriented. Across the entire range of contingencies, what is wanted is the just-right-for-this-recipient-at-this-moment-of-this- interaction way of referring, implemented in a minimized reference form. And that is what is wanted whether the reference is to someone else or to the speaker her/himself.