Chapter published in:Imperative Turns at Talk: The design of directives in action
Edited by Marja-Leena Sorjonen, Liisa Raevaara and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen
[Studies in Language and Social Interaction 30] 2017
► pp. 65–101
Precision timing and timed embeddedness of imperatives in embodied courses of action
Examples from French
Drawing on video recorded data in French, this chapter studies the use of imperatives in situations in which participants involved together in an activity get one another to do something immediately, within that activity. More specifically, this chapter focuses on activities characterized by fast progression and by a sense of urgency, risk, or speed – in which the immediacy of a participant’s response is particularly relevant. These characteristics highlight temporality in a specific and exemplary way. The chapter offers a systematic analysis of sequential environments that contain imperatives directing someone to perform an immediate action. The linguistic and embodied characteristics of these actions are reviewed, as well as their responses and possible third closing turns. The analysis will demonstrate how both directives and their responses are multimodally assembled and carefully fine-tuned, and how they orient to the precise timing of the ongoing activity. Beyond the basic organization of the sequence, the chapter studies the specific formats of repeated imperatives, orienting to temporal features such as the imminence, urgency, time precision, and duration of the directed action.
Keywords: social interaction, multimodality, imperative, directive, indexicality, temporality, praxeological context, French
Published online: 18 August 2017
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