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AbstractThis article provides a conversation analytic description of a two-part structure, ‘I don’t want X, I want/just want Y’. Drawing on a corpus of recordings of family mealtimes and television documentary data, I show how speakers use the structure in two recurrent environments. First, speakers may use the structure to reject a proposal regarding their actions made by an interlocutor. Second, speakers may deliver the structure following a co-interactant’s formulation of their actions or motivations. Both uses decrease the likelihood of challenge in third-turn position. When responding to multi-unit turns speakers routinely deal with the last item first. The value of ‘I want Y’ is to formulate an alternative sense of agency which undermines the preceding turn and shifts the trajectory of the ongoing sequence. The article contributes to work in discursive psychology as I show how speakers may formulate their ‘wants’ in the service of sequentially unfolding social interaction.
Citation'I'm not X, I just want Y': Formulating 'wants' in interaction 2012, 14 (2):181 Discourse Studies