Combining clauses in interaction. The "voi olla että" '(it) may be that' utterance in Finnish.

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Niemi , J 2015 , ' Combining clauses in interaction. The "voi olla että" '(it) may be that' utterance in Finnish. ' , Journal of Pragmatics , vol. 77 , pp. 80-96 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2015.01.003

Title: Combining clauses in interaction. The "voi olla että" '(it) may be that' utterance in Finnish.
Author: Niemi, Jarkko
Contributor organization: Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies
Date: 2015
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Journal of Pragmatics
ISSN: 0378-2166
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2015.01.003
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/156239
Abstract: This study investigates the Finnish bipartite utterance that consists of a display of an epistemic stance by voi olla ‘(it) may be’ and a span of talk initiated by että ‘that’ following it. It is shown that in a sequence-initiating turn, the voi olla että ‘(it) may be that’ utterance conveys a lack of knowledge of a state of affairs. By contrast, in a responding turn, the voi olla että ‘(it) may be that’ utterance commonly cooperates with the preference displayed by the prior speaker's turn, and the implied lack of knowledge may not be as real as in an initiating turn. Moreover, the study demonstrates that the relative prominence of a bipartite utterance differs according to its sequential position. In an initiating turn, the talk following voi olla is more prominent, which reflects the function of the turn as initiating something new. By contrast, in a responding turn, voi olla gains more prominence than the talk that follows it, because the stance it expresses cooperates with a preference displayed by the co-participant's prior action. The data for this study are drawn from audio and videotaped interactions between friends and relatives, as well as from customer service encounters. The study is informed by the method of conversation analysis.This study focusses on the Finnish utterance type that consists of voi olla '(it) may be' and a span of talk initiated by et(ta) 'that', that follows it. The analysis demonstrates that in an initiating turn, the utterance initiated by the voi olla etta '(it) may be that' expresses a lack of knowledge of a state of affairs and usually provides for an expansion on the topic. By contrast, in a responding turn, the displayed lack of knowledge is often related to producing a hedged affirmative answer. Moreover, the study argues that the relative prominence of the two parts of the utterance differ according to its sequential position. In an initiating turn, the talk following voi olla is more prominent. This reflects the function of the turn as initiating something new, which is presented in the talk after et(ta). However, in a responding turn, voi olla gains more prominence than the talk following it, because the stance that voi olla expresses embodies an alignment with the co-participant's prior action. The data used for this study are drawn from audio and videotaped interactions between friends and relatives, as well as customer-service encounters. The methodology for the study is conversation analysis. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Subject: 6121 Languages
Clause combining
Subordination
Conversation analysis
FINNISH
CONVERSATION
ORGANIZATION
KNOWLEDGE
ENGLISH
STANCE
TALK
Peer reviewed: Yes
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion


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