On the notion of pre-request Journal Article uri icon



  • In early work within Conversation Analysis, utterances within a request sequence which inquire regarding some of the preconditions of granting the request (such as having the item or having the ability to perform the action) are analyzed as pre-requests. Levinson, in an extended discussion of the organization of pre-requests and request sequences, treats utterances such as ‘do you have X?’, ‘can I have X?’ or ‘can you X for me?’ as inquiring about preconditions that could prevent the recipient from granting the request. By checking on preconditions, the requester works to avoid producing a request which will be declined, which is a dispreferred action. In other words, pre-requests, like other pre-sequences, function to project that another action will be produced if a favorable response is given; if not, that projected action may not be produced. In this view, then, they work to maintain the preference organization. This study uses requesting in service encounters to re-examine the evidence for an analysis of such utterances as pre-requests and finds that alternative analyses are more suited in these requesting activities.

publication date

  • February 1, 2015

Date in CU Experts

  • April 9, 2017 9:52 AM

Full Author List

  • Fox B

author count

  • 1

Other Profiles

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1461-4456

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1461-7080

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 41

end page

  • 63


  • 17


  • 1