Managing a suspended course of action
A multimodal study of suoyi ‘so’-prefaced utterances in Mandarin conversation
This study explores interactional functions of the connective suoyi ‘so’ and its particular role in organizing talk and activity in Mandarin conversation. Adopting the methodologies of conversation analysis, multimodal analysis, and interactional linguistics, this study examines 14 hours of naturalistic face-to-face Mandarin conversation. An examination of the data shows that in addition to marking results and conclusions, suoyi is also used to preface an utterance as a tying device to manage suspensions, where progressivity of a course of action is halted. Specifically, suoyi-prefaced utterances can be used to return to a pre-prior course of action at the possible completion of a side sequence or frame. When performing the function of return, suoyi-prefaced utterances facilitate the development of the main course of action. This study contributes to our understanding of the interactional uses of linking adverbials from a cross-linguistic perspective.
- 2.Suoyi and suoyi-clauses in Mandarin conversation
- 3.Methodology and data
- 5.Discussion and conclusion