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. 413–444
Turn-initial naja in German
This paper investigates the German token naja in turn initial position in everyday conversation. The paper makes the argument that naja is produced in situations when speakers are negotiating some form of break with prior utterances in the interaction: Prior research has indicated that in second-pair parts, naja prefaces disagreements. The current paper shows that naja is also used in initiating actions that serve to return to a previous sequence that was not brought to completion due to actions by the coparticipant(s) or outsiders of the interaction. In addition, naja is used in third position turns in which speakers are backing down from a previously held position. In initiating actions and third positions, naja serves to indicate the break and simultaneously initiates actions to overcome it. The findings hold both for cases in which subsequent talk is prosodically integrated to naja and the cases in which naja is not prosodically integrated to the subsequent talk.
Keywords: affiliation, alignment, continuation, German, response token, resumption, sequence organization, side sequence, topic, topic attrition
Published online: 19 July 2018
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