Chapter published in:Between Turn and Sequence: Turn-initial particles across languages
Edited by John Heritage and Marja-Leena Sorjonen
[Studies in Language and Social Interaction 31] 2018
► pp. 23–58
Nu-prefaced responses in Russian conversation
This chapter examines the Russian particle nu, focusing on its use in responses to polar and question-word questions. I show that nu prefaces responses that are, in some way, misaligned vis-à-vis the initiating action. First, nu may preface non-type-conforming responses, i.e., responses that “depart from the constraints embodied in the grammatical form” of the question (Raymond 2003, 946). Such responses may operate on the terms of the question, correct its presuppositions, resist the action the question implements, and problematize its assumption of answerability. Second, nu may preface responses that conform to the question’s grammatical constraints and forward its action agenda, but convey an incongruent epistemic stance by suggesting that the questioner already knows the solicited information.
Keywords: Russian, question-answer sequences, sequence organization, epistemics, type conformity, preference, action formation
Published online: 19 July 2018
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