[PLing] Call / IPrA 2017 Belfast - Panel / Creating worlds from the inside: Turn-initial positions as Creators of Discourses and Worlds

Thielemann, Nadine nadine.thielemann at wu.ac.at
Sun Jul 3 21:20:10 CEST 2016

Panel / 15th IPrA 2017 Belfast

Creating worlds from the inside: Turn-initial positions as Creators of Discourses and Worlds

Organized by: Peter Kosta, Nadine Thielemann and Nicole Richter


The Panel wants to analyze the conversational and illocutionary functions and forces of the turn-initial positions verbal elements in different settings of spoken discourse and registers (political discourse, patient-doctor-communication and forensic communication). We assume that  turn-initial positions create  the most decisive parts of discourse because they not only prepare for theme/topic introduction but they introduce and predetermine the discourse role of the speaker and his/her intentions towards world and reality.

We try to descend from very little elements of turn-initiators (as we call them ''starters'' such as Czech jé) much in the way they were introduced by John Herritage (2013) "Turn-initial position and some of its occupants" 
(such as oh which can appear in different positions and functions as discourse initiators, responders and closing parts).

We analyze turn-initial elements in turn-proper contexts (not including non-verbal means of multimodality such as gesture, hands, or tone,
visuality) which are in one way or another already a part of the build up syntactic structure, even though they seem to be outside of it, not yet fully integrated.

In contrast to non-verbal aspects of turn beginnings (such as breath, hesitation markers etc.), the turn-initial elements described here are very much a part of the ‘turn proper,’ though they are still, for the most part, not yet  immediately "syntactically" integrated with the rest of the turn constructional unit. Most of them comprise single lexemes and very little parts of cognitive l lexicon, varying greatly in their semantic and functional import from apparently straightforward items like address terms (vocatives), through expressions like Czech jé  (engl.‘oh’ and ‘ah’) (cf. 
Heritage, 1984; Aston, 1987) to more opaque discourse markers like Czech tak teddy, no tak; Russian nu čtož . (engl.‘well,’) on the semantics and pragmatic functions of which it has been more difficult to find consensus (Jucker, 1993; Pomerantz, 1984; Schiffrin, 1987:102--127; Schegloff and Lerner, 2009; Schourup, 2001, Herritage 2013). Some, but by no means all, of these objects can occupy an entire turn by themselves, cf.: Cz. Ježíšimarjá (Geez etc.).

These turn-initial objects share some common characteristics that contribute to the difficulties associated with their analysis, and that will bear enumeration.

The panel wants to discover the social aspects of these elements w.r.t  the establishment of macrostructures, (registers and social contexts) and microstructures. Thus, it will be important to demonstrate, which turn-initial elements can and which must be avoided and which are preferred in different styles and registers of casual (every day urban styles) and non-casual conversational settings (political discourse, patient-doctor-communication and forensic communication).

Data: The Corpus Data of any language of the IPRA are welcome. In our analysis, we choose English, German and Slavonic Languages (Russian, Ukrainian, Czech and Polish)

If you are interested, please contact the panel organizers Peter Kosta, Nicole Richter or Nadine Thielemann.
Please also check the IPrA website - <http://ipra.ua.ac.be/main.aspx?c=.CONFERENCE15&n=1510>

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