Action bids in children with speech impairments: the case of marking

Alessandra Fasulo*, Iris Nomikou, Joanna Nye

*Corresponding author for this work

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The paper illustrates a practice, which we have called “marking”, observed in play interactions between parents and children with Down Syndrome (DS) aged 3-8. Markings are minimal turns that rely on prosody, embodied resources and indexicality to foreground events within an ongoing activity and convey a stance toward them. Markings can be both retrospective and prospective, i.e. referring to a just-occurred or an incipient event. As first pair parts, they are open action bids that prompt recipients to display their co-orientation towards the referent. Responses from parents, i.e. second markings, can take the form of repeats or expansions matching intonation; after prospective marking recipient can also add support to the incipient activity the child has marked. We discuss marking as the core constituent of a larger family of actions for ‘sharing noteworthiness’, but also as a designedly undetermined action bid with specific conversational uses for children and adults alike.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-79
Number of pages23
JournalResearch on Children and Social Interaction
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2021


  • marking
  • conversation analysis
  • Down syndrome
  • assessments
  • action formation
  • repetition


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