‘What? Olaf is the taxi driver?’

Co-construction of spontaneous fantasy narratives in preschoolers’ pretend play interactions


  • Younhee Kim University of Macau
  • Yvonne Tse Crepaldi Nanyang Technological University




fantasy narrative, pretend play, sense-making procedures, conversation analysis, children


While children’s remarkable ability to co-construct spontaneous fantasy narratives in pretend play interaction has been noted, sequential organization embedded in the collaborative construction of narratives have received little research attention. Drawing on an ethnomethodological and conversation analysis perspective, the current study examines the sequential organization of pretend play narratives co-constructed in children’s play interaction. Close sequential analysis based on 30 hours of audio and video recordings reveals an array of resources and interactional practices used to construct and maintain the spontaneous narratives. Sequential analysis allows to observe sense-making procedures embedded in the way participating children respond to and develop the storyline. The paper concludes with a reflection on how real-world knowledge informs and regulates the co-constructional process of fantasy narratives.

Author Biographies

Younhee Kim, University of Macau

Younhee Kim is currently assistant professor at the University of Macau. Her research interests include second language acquisition/learning, ethnomethodology and conversation analysis, interaction with and among children, and teacher education. Her most recent interest lies in looking at how affect/emotion is constructed in parent–child interaction and how accountability and emotion are enacted and intertwined in parent–child interaction. She has published various book chapters and articles in journals such as Applied Linguistics, East Asian Pragmatics, Journal of Pragmatics, and Journal of Teacher Education.

Yvonne Tse Crepaldi, Nanyang Technological University

Yvonne Tse Crepaldi is a research fellow in the Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies at Nanyang Technological University. Her research interests include parent–child interaction, doctor–patient interaction and multilingualism.


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How to Cite

Kim, Y. ., & Tse Crepaldi, Y. . (2021). ‘What? Olaf is the taxi driver?’: Co-construction of spontaneous fantasy narratives in preschoolers’ pretend play interactions. Research on Children and Social Interaction, 5(1), 103–128. https://doi.org/10.1558/rcsi.18056