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Text & Talk

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse & Communication Studies

Ed. by Sarangi, Srikant

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Volume 32, Issue 2


The issue of conversationally constituted context and localization problems in emergency calls

Isabella Paoletti,
Published Online: 2012-06-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2012-0010


This paper analyzes localization problems in medical emergency calls. It argues that some localization problems can be related to difficulties in the alignment of operators' and callers' understanding of the overall functioning of the services and, in fact, be linked to the shift in the organization features of the emergency service.

The data analyzed in this study are part of a wider corpus collected within a research project on language and technology carried out at the Department of Communication Sciences of the University of Bologna, Italy. The data were collected in two emergency service control rooms in northern Italy and central Italy. Through a detailed discourse analysis within an ethnomethodological framework of actual emergency calls, the analysis shows that some localization problems can be better understood by referring to the overall ethnographic understanding of the emergency service and its organizational development.

The paper aims to show that some localization problems can provide some significant insights for the discussion of the issue of “conversationally constituted context” versus “invocation to more remote context” in the analysis of interactional data. The ethnographic understanding of changes in the organization of the emergency services makes understandable elements in the calls that cannot be explained otherwise.

Keywords:: localization problems; context; emergency calls; direction giving; discourse analysis; ethnomethodology

About the article

Published Online: 2012-06-11

Published in Print: 2012-03-22

Citation Information: Text & Talk, Volume 32, Issue 2, Pages 191–210, ISSN (Online) 1860-7349, ISSN (Print) 1860-7330, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2012-0010.

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©[2012] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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