“So my position is…”
So-prefaced answers and epistemic authority in British news interviews
This article examines the interactional functions of the so-prefaced answer, when used by interviewees in news and other political discussion broadcasts. Using the methods of conversation analysis, based on a data corpus of recent broadcasts from British mainstream television, the analysis shows that the so-preface functions in a cluster of related ways within the question-answer discourse structure of the political news interview. Specifically, it is used to reset or reframe the prior question from a standpoint of epistemic authority, enabling the interviewee to answer on their terms rather than the interviewer’s.
Keywords: conversation analysis, epistemics, evasion, news interviews, so-preface, turn-initial particles
Published online: 24 March 2020
Heritage, John, and Marja-Leena Sorjonen
2015 “So, what’s the big deal with starting a sentence with ‘so’?” www.npr.org/2015/09/03/432732859/
Schegloff, Emanuel A. and Gene Lerner