This paper demonstrates how the tools of Interactional Linguistics can be applied to the study of change in
language use. It examines the particle OKAY as used in everyday American English interaction at two different points in time, the
1960s and the 1990s/early 2000s. The focus is on the remarkable increase of OKAY as a response in epistemically driven sequences.
Three uses of epistemic OKAY are identified in the newer data, one of which is unattested in the older data: OKAY in response to
information that has no implications for the recipient’s agenda or expressed beliefs. This novel use of OKAY appears in the newer
data where OH would have occurred earlier, although OH is still attested with displays of affect such as surprise and empathy. The
study concludes by arguing for an examination of ‘possibility spaces’, the set of options for filling a given sequential slot in
conversational structure, at different points in time as a means for identifying changes in language use.
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Malabarba, Taiane, Anna C. Oliveira Mendes & Joseane de Souza
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 31 october 2023. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers.
Any errors therein should be reported to them.