Recipient questions as a strategy to launch second stories


  • Wei Zhang City University of Hong Kong; Tongji University
  • Xin Peng Xiamen University



storytelling, recipient questions, second stories, pre-ness, chinese conversation


This article reports a study of launching second stories in Chinese conversation. It particularly examines how recipients ask questions about something related to but not explicitly mentioned in the first story. We show that such questions are strategically placed in that they prefigure upcoming stories. The design of the questions may also cast a new light on the first story so that the second story, when told, can be recognised as subsequent to the first in particular ways. We discuss the interactional nature of such questions in relation to Schegloff’s (2007) idea that ‘preness’ is a more general property in action sequences.

Author Biography

Xin Peng, Xiamen University

Xin Peng is Assistant Professor at Xiamen University. She is the author of the book Storytelling in Naturally Occurring Conversation. Her research interests include conversation analysis, suspension and resumption in storytelling, and reenactment in social interaction.


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How to Cite

Zhang, W., & Peng, X. (2019). Recipient questions as a strategy to launch second stories. East Asian Pragmatics, 4(2), 169-189.