Edited by Michael T. Putnam
[Studies in Language Companion Series 123] 2011
► pp. 415–454
Word choice, turn construction, and topic management in German conversation
Adverbs that are sensitive to interactional positioning
Using conversation analysis, this study examines the relationship between word choice and turn construction. In Siebenbürger Sächsisch, a Romanian settlement variety of German, certain adverbs possess functional variants that exhibit position-sensitivity with respect to their placement in turns in interaction. This study investigates the lexical items ientz(t)/'now' and ientzter/'now'. In interaction, speakers use these variants as resources to mark the status of a turn constructional unit or turn as complete or incomplete. Moreover, the use of ientz(t) and ientzter is sensitive to the placement within the larger sequence: Turn-final ientzter is tied to the management of topics in interaction, specifically to promoting a new action trajectory. This study outlines an intersection of turn construction, topic development, and word choice and expands the body of comparative work in conversation analysis.