LINGUIST List 31.2465

Tue Aug 04 2020

Calls: Chinese; Disc Analysis/Switzerland

Editor for this issue: Lauren Perkins <>

Date: 03-Aug-2020
From: Xinyang Xie <>
Subject: Building responses in Chinese talk-in-interaction
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Full Title: Building responses in Chinese talk-in-interaction

Date: 27-Jun-2021 - 02-Jul-2021
Location: Winterthur, Switzerland
Contact Person: Xinyang Xie
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

Subject Language(s): Chinese, Mandarin

Language Family(ies): Sino-Tibetan

Call Deadline: 25-Oct-2020

Meeting Description:

Organizers: Xinyang Xie, Wei Zhang, Yaqiong Liu, Xianyin Li

Abstract: Responses are part and parcel in social interactions across cultures and languages. Research in conversation analysis and interactional linguistics has accumulated a wealth of studies which contributes to, and continues to update, our understanding of responses in interaction (Lee 2013). Research focus has extended from examining responses with reference to preference organization (Pomerantz & Heritage 2013, Schegloff 2007) to the design of responses in relation to different question types and in specific action sequences. A wide range of issues have been explored, e.g., the interactional properties embodied in phrasal and clausal responses to wh-questions (Fox & Thompson 2010), the normative structure underlying type-conforming and nonconforming responses to polar questions (Raymond 2003), respondents’ independent epistemic authority over, or resistance to, questions as displayed in the formats of responses (Heritage & Sefi 1992, Stivers 2011, Stivers & Hayashi 2010), and grammatical forms of responses in action sequences other than the question-answer sequence (Thompson et al. 2015). Also much researched are the functions of turn-initial responsive tokens (Heritage 1998, Schegloff & Lerner 2009). Common to this line of inquiry is the departure from ‘traditional’ approaches which views grammar not as internal to language, but as “sequence-specific” and “positionally sensitive” (Schegloff 1996) resources out of which speakers build their actions in, and for, the interaction they are engaged in. Such a view of the relationship between grammar and social interaction has also yielded fruitful insights from studies of responses in languages other than English. However, our understanding of responsive actions in Chinese talk-in-interaction awaits more systematic investigation. Early studies of Chinese grammar have made insightful observations about answers, responses and their relations to questions (Lü 1942, Chao 1968, Hu 1987). However, it is until more recently that studies of responses grounded in naturally-occurring talk-in-interaction begin to emerge (e.g., Wu 2014, Wang et al 2010, Li 2014, Xie 2016). There is still much to be understood about grammar and social interaction in Chinese.

This panel aims to explore the ways speakers build responsive turns/actions in Chinese talk-in-interaction. We welcome papers which look into how responses are related to, and constrained by, initial actions in terms of action types and grammatical formats, how they may transform the terms of initiating actions, and how they may display stance and shape ongoing courses of actions; also welcome are papers which examine responses in light of the complexities of preference organizations, as well as responses in larger activities. It is anticipated that through examining the design of responsive turns, e.g., turn-initial responsive tokens, lexical choices, grammatical formats, prosodic patterns, and their possible interactional functions in specific sequential contexts, practices for constructing responses in Chinese talk-in-interaction can be uncovered and compared to those in other languages for language-specific or more general properties of responsive actions in interaction. In this regard, the panel also welcomes comparative studies of responses in Chinese and other languages. Findings from the panel papers will contribute to cross-language research on types of responses and their design as part of the organization that underlies human social interaction.

Call for Papers:

If you are interested in presenting a paper in this panel, please send your abstract draft(min. 350 and max. 500 words) by 10 October 2020 to: We may give you some advice to revise your abstract. All abstracts will have to be submitted individually through the IPrA website ( by 25 October 2020 and make sure to select “Building responses in Chinese talk-in-interaction” as the panel for your submission.

Page Updated: 04-Aug-2020