Edited by Yun Xiao and Linda Tsung
[Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse 10] 2019
► pp. 81–103
Chapter 5. Some interactional functions of Yinwei-clauses in Mandarin Chinese conversation
Yinwei ‘because’ is a causal conjunction or preposition indicating a causal relation between two clauses, NPs and other discourse units in Mandarin Chinese. Building on the previous research, this study examines how yinwei is used by conversational participants to organize talk and accomplish interactional tasks in Mandarin conversation. Adopting the methodologies of conversation analysis and interactional linguistics, this study examines 11 hours of everyday Mandarin conversational data, and explores the interactional functions of yinwei-clauses. An examination of the data shows that yinwei-clauses have a variety of interactional functions in everyday Mandarin conversation. Two particular interactional functions of yinwei-clauses are accounts for a speaker’s prior action such as disagreement and strong assertion, and parentheticals providing background information related to the ongoing talk.