By Marja-Leena Sorjonen

This booklet issues debris which are used as responses in conversations. It presents a lot wanted methodological instruments for reading using reaction debris in languages, whereas its specific concentration is Finnish. The ebook specializes in Finnish debris, nii(n) and joo, which in a few of their vital usages have “yeah” and “yes” as their closest English opposite numbers. the 2 debris are mentioned in a few sequential and task contexts, together with their use as solutions to yes-no questions and directives, as responses to a stance-taking by way of the previous speaker, and in the course of a longer telling by means of the co-participant. it is going to be proven how there's a fine-grained department of work among the debris, having to do with the epistemic and affective personality of the debate and the continuation vs. closure-relevance of the job. The booklet connects the interactional usages of the debris with what's recognized approximately their old origins, and during this model it's also of curiosity to linguists doing study on procedures of grammaticalization and lexicalization.

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Extra resources for Responding in Conversation: A Study of Response Particles in Finnish

Example text

Angles et al. 2000). From the point of view of the present study, backchannel and feedback studies suffer from several serious drawbacks (cf. also the critique in Schegloff 1982). First, they treat responses as an undifferentiated class of expressions that are unproblematically and readily identifiable for statistical analyses. Second, they isolate backchannel utterances from their actual contexts of use and thus from the interactional activities with respect to which they get their meanings. Third, they therefore fail to give any precise meaning for any given response form – or, for that matter, for the whole class – that would describe in any way Indexicality, interjections and actions by recipients in interaction the kinds of meanings the interactants orient to and the kinds of tasks they accomplish when using a given response.

C. Helsinkiinkö ~ Helsinkiinks Anna ajoi eilen? Was it to Helsinki that Anna drove yesterday? d. Eilen illallako ~ Eilen illallaks Anna ajoi Helsinkiin? Was it yesterday evening that Anna drove to Helsinki? The particle joo can, in principle, occur as an agreeing response to all the interrogatives presented above. However nii, the other main particle of this study, is ungrammatical as an agreeing response to a) above, that is, when the whole proposition is questioned. To offer nii as an affirmative answer in these contexts would mark the speaker, for example, as a non-native speaker.

Furthermore, it appears to mark the issue raised by the question as foregrounded and as an action which forwards the topic. When a repeat follows a second-position question, the question seems to implicate disagreement. In contrast, a particle provides typically an answer to a question which checks whether the questioner heard or understood correctly the prior turn by the coparticipant. In addition, it is a means for indicating that the issue dealt with through the question-answer pair forms a departure from the main topic and is often also in some way backgrounded.

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