The occurrence of lists in natural conversation is examined to reveal some of the interactional relevances of such list productions.
The presence of three-part lists are first noted. Speakers and hearers orient to their three-part nature. The complete list can then constitute a turn at talk and the hearer can monitor the third component as a sign of turn completion. List can thereby be a conversational sequential source.
By virtue of the three-part structure of some lists, members can orient to such matters as a “weak”, “absent”, or “missing” third part. Third items can be used to accomplish particular interactional work, such as topic-shifting and offense avoidance.
This report is a preliminary examination of lists occurring in natural conversation.