Browsing by Subject "Epistemics"

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  • Lindström, Jan Krister; Yael, Maschler; Pekarek Doehler, Simona (2016)
    In this introduction to the special issue on ‘Grammar and negative epistemics in talk-in-interaction’ we discuss the current state of research on the use of negative mental verb constructions such as I don’t know, I don’t understand, I don’t remember in social interaction. We scrutinize, in a cross-linguistic perspective, the grammatical and interactional features that emerge from existing research in the field, and spell out the specific contribution of the studies collected in this issue. We discuss how the cumulative evidence provided by these studies across a set of different languages, several of which are typologically unrelated, contributes to studies of talk-in-interaction and to the newly emerging field of Pragmatic Typology. We argue that the findings point to universal interactional motivations for the grammatical properties and the grammaticization of the constructions studied, and suggest that these motivations arise out of the basic requirements for intersubjectivity in social interaction.
  • Paananen, Jenny; Stevanovic, Melisa; Valkeapää, Taina (2021)
    This paper focuses on the stancetaking formats used to express personal thoughts, namely Finnish ma aattelen/aattelin 'I think/thought', ma mietin 'I think/wonder', and mun mielesta/musta 'I think/in my opinion'. We study how these first-person formats are used in mental health rehabilitation group meetings, which aim to promote joint decision-making. In particular, we analyze whether the institutional asymmetry between support workers and clients is reflected in the use of these thought expressions. Our data comprise 23 video-recorded rehabilitation meetings, and the adopted methods are conversation analysis and interactional linguistics. Most of the stancetaking formats in our data are produced by support workers (106/129). The results of a sequential analysis conducted in this study demonstrate that support workers' thought expressions are embedded in their institutional actions, which are beyond the clients' authority. Moreover, our data suggest that support workers' and rehabilitants' thought expressions generate different participation dynamics. Although previous research has considered I think-formats typically as calls for other views, in institutional settings such as ours, these formats can also be interpreted as highlighting an institutional agent's controlling position. Acknowledging the existence of such differences in stancetaking practices can advance the design of new protocols to facilitate client participation.
  • Vatanen, Anna (2018)
    This paper investigates the Finnish ma tiedan, 'I know' utterance in responsive position. The data, gathered from naturally occurring interactions, indicate that these responses occur in sequences with epistemic incongruence: the first pair part is an informing type turn, which presupposes an unknowing (or a less knowing) recipient. With the ma tiedan response, the response-speaker resists this implication and points out the epistemic incongruence there is at that moment. The ma tiedan speaker thus resists the unknowing status attributed to her/him and claims to be knowledgeable, and at the same time resists the social action being accomplished in the informing turn. The uniformity of the expression, its sequential context and interactional function suggest that this expression is rather formulaic. The verb tietaa 'to know' is typically described as a complement taking predicate, but the ma tiedan responses include no object argument whatsoever; the object of knowing is to be inferred from the previous turn. The form of the expression is fitted to its sequential position. The turn may also contain response particles (e.g., nii or joo) which specify its contextual interpretation. The data suggest that the use of these Finnish utterances is different from how I know responses are used in English conversations, where the responses may signal not only knowledge but also affiliation. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.