Chapter published in:Questioning and Answering Practices across Contexts and Cultures
Edited by Cornelia Ilie
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 323] 2021
► pp. 167–192
Constructing interrupting inquiries as cooperative interactions
Question-response-hai ‘yes’ sequences in Japanese interviews
This chapter examines how speakers manage the simultaneous occurrence of questioning and interruption. The data are 22 sequences consisting of an interviewer’s interrupting question, the interviewee’s response, and the interviewer’s hai ‘yes’, from 60-minute interviews with eight women. I analyze what discursive strategies the interview participants employ to construct such sequences as cooperative interactions. The analysis shows that: (1) the interviewee constructs the sequence as a side activity, sustaining the status of her narrative as the main activity; (2) the interviewee turns the side activity into a crucial contribution to the interaction; and (3) the interviewer utilizes hai to explicitly transfer speakership to the interviewee. The findings demonstrate the importance of examining questions within sequences of ongoing interaction.
Keywords: question, interruption, interview, main/side activities, Japanese
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