Replying with the freestanding ‘we’
in Greek conversations
The present chapter focuses on the freestanding first person plural subject pronoun εμείς (‘we’) in Modern Greek. Previous work on εμείς (Pavlidou 2008, 2012) has shown that its non-referential functions depend on the sequential context in which the turn containing this freestanding pronoun appears. Adopting a Conversation Analysis perspective, the chapter investigates one particular sequential context in which εμείς appears, namely replies to questions. It is shown that – with hardly any exceptions – such replies are type non-conforming and/or dispreferred. Therefore, it is argued, εμείς indexes some kind of trouble. However, as this conclusion cannot be extended to all occurrences of εμείς in other second pair parts, it is suggested that underlying the function of indexing trouble there is an argumentative stance on the speaker’s part toward the on-going interaction.