LINGUIST List 16.413

Thu Feb 10 2005

Diss: Modified Re: 16-395: Discourse Analysis: Bolden

Editor for this issue: Gayathri Sriram <gayatrilinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Takako Matsui, Delayed and Incipient Actions: The discourse markers '-to' and 'so' in Russian and English conversation


Message 1: Delayed and Incipient Actions: The discourse markers '-to' and 'so' in Russian and English conversation

Date: 10-Feb-2005
From: Takako Matsui <takolinguistlist.org>
Subject: Delayed and Incipient Actions: The discourse markers '-to' and 'so' in Russian and English conversation


Editor's Note: This is a reposting of LL Issue 16.395 to correct a
truncated dissertation title.

Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Program: Department of TESL & Applied Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2005

Author: Galina Bolden

Dissertation Title: Delayed and Incipient Actions: The discourse markers
'-to' and 'so' in Russian and English conversation

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Pragmatics

Subject Language(s): English (ENG)
Russian (RUS)


Dissertation Director(s):
Charles Goodwin
John Heritage
Emanuel A. Schegloff
Olga T. Yokoyama

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation investigates ways in which two different languages,
English and Russian, deal with a common interactional issue - how to show
that the current utterance is occasioned by something other than the
immediately preceding talk. The focus is on two discourse markers, the
Russian particle -to and the English marker 'so,' both of which are
involved, in somewhat different ways, in indicating that the action
implemented by the utterance should or could have been performed earlier.
Using the methodology of conversation analysis, the dissertation
investigates the communicative functions of these discourse markers in
contexts of their use through a close analysis of recorded, naturally
occurring conversations.

The first part of the dissertation examines the use of the Russian particle
'-to' in turns of talk that initiate new action sequences. I argue that the
particle marks the action implemented by the utterance as delayed by
reference to the organization of sequences and larger activities, the
overall structural organization of the conversation as a unit, and in
relation to real time events. The analysis shows that speakers use the
particle not only for structural reasons but also for normative ones - to
display their interactional accountability for the action's late placement.

The second part of the dissertation explores the English discourse marker
'so,' also focusing on its use in sequence-initial positions. The analysis
demonstrates that 'so' can be characterized as a marker of emergence from
incipiency, indicating that the action being launched by the turn has been
on the speaker's agenda. The dissertation explores ways in which 'so' can
be used to preface actions that have been projected to occur next, to
introduce pending matters, and to retrojectedly mark an action as having
been incipient. 'So' prefacing on new topic initiations is also contrasted
with 'oh' prefacing in the same position, showing that 'so' and 'oh' can
function as indexes of other- and self-regardingness, and, thereby, be
involved in negotiating social relationships.
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