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. 225–250
Treating something as self-evident
No-prefaced turns in Polish
This chapter offers a detailed sequential examination of the usage of the turn-initial Polish particle no in responsive actions. It demonstrates that no represents a particular kind of epistemic stance, where it contributes a “my side” positioning of the no speaker, and in this way participates in the local management of epistemic relations between speakers of Polish. Drawing on the analysis of data from both institutional and ordinary interactions, I demonstrate that stand-alone no and no-prefaces index the stance of the current speaker towards the prior speaker’s turn or action. No operates on three layers, which are invoked by the particular sequential and activity contexts in which the particle occurs. The primary function of no is to treat the content of the prior speaker’s turn as already known or self-evident. Second, associated with that treatment, no invokes its speaker’s “my-side” perspective and alerts the recipient to a possible incongruity between the no speaker’s epistemic status vis-à-vis the recipient’s perspective. The third layer is sequential in character and drawing on the affordances created by the two other epistemic and stance-related layers, exploits these basic interactional capacities of no in a further direction. When this happens, a no-prefaced action can set a given piece of knowledge aside and hence contribute to sequence closure and coincide with a topic and/or an activity shift. Based on the analysis of both the preceding and subsequent talk surrounding no, this chapter illustrates some systematic regularities related to the usage of no, which offer empirical evidence that no is implicated in foreshadowing epistemic stance in contexts of epistemic incongruence.
Keywords: conversation analysis, turn-initial position, Polish, interaction, action design, action recognition, particles, epistemic stance, epistemic status
Published online: 19 July 2018
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