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A sentence dispersed within a turn-at-talk: Response-opportunity places as loci for interactional work

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2017) Special issue: Conversation analytic studies of language use in interaction

Journal: East Asian Pragmatics

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DOI: 10.1558/eap.34561


The aim of this study is to show that there is orderliness in a piece of talk that is extremely complex and, in so doing, to explore the grammatical construction of naturally occurring, and contingently produced, utterances in Japanese interaction. First, I distinguish between unit-completeness and turn-completeness. Second, I introduce the notion of response-opportunity places to indicate those places in which although the ongoing talk is still both unit- and turn-incomplete, responses may be produced. These places are systematically used as loci for initiating solutions to various possible interactional problems, such as problems of hearing and understanding. Third, I examine different practices through which the speaker returns to the incomplete turn-constructional unit. The orderliness of the target talk is the result of the speaker’s systematic use of these places and practices.

Author: Aug Nishizaka

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