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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Transformative answers: One way to resist a question’s constraints
Author: Tanya Stivers
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of California, Los Angeles
Author: Makoto Hayashi
Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis
Abstract: A number of Conversation Analytic studies have documented that question recipients have a variety of ways to push against the constraints that questions impose on them. This article explores the concept of transformative answers – answers through which question recipients retroactively adjust the question posed to them. Two main sorts of adjustments are discussed: question term transformations and question agenda transformations. It is shown that the operations through which interactants implement term transformations are different from the operations through which they implement agenda transformations. Moreover, term-transforming answers resist only the question’s design, while agenda-transforming answers effectively resist both design and agenda, thus implying that agenda-transforming answers resist more strongly than design-transforming answers. The implications of these different sorts of transformations for alignment and affiliation are then explored.


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 39, Issue 1.

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