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Twice-told tales: Collaborative narration of familiar stories

  • Neal R. Norrick (a1)

Consideration of twice-told tales, of narrative events built around stories already familiar to the participants, offers a special perspective on conversational storytelling, because it emphasizes aspects of narration which lie beyond information exchange, problem-solving etc. This article seeks to show that the retelling of familiar stories has at least three functions: (a) fostering group rapport, (b) ratifying group membership, and (c) conveying group values. It is shown that familiar stories exhibit characteristic structures, conditions on tellability, and participation rights. Such stories are prefaced so as to justify their retelling on the basis of the opportunity they offer for co-narration, and this in turn allows participants to modulate rapport and demonstrate group membership. (Discourse analysis, conversation, storytelling, narrative, co-narration)

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Language in Society
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