Topical and sequential backlinking in a French radio phone-in program: Turn shapes and sequential placements

Elwys De Stefani and Anne-Sylvie Horlacher

Abstract

Drawing on a corpus of French radio phone-in confidential chats, this paper deals with the resources that participants recurrently employ to get back to a prior course of action following age-inquiry sequences. It might be expected that the age sequence occurs predominantly during the initial, opening part of the phone-call, as part of the caller’s identification sequence. Although such occurrences can be found, the age sequence is produced overwhelmingly after the introduction of the reason for call or after a pre- announcement of it. The way in which participants link back to the activity preceding the age sequence is related to the sequential placement of the age sequence as well as to the ‘authorship’ of its initiation and termination. Backlinking turns may therefore be analyzed with respect to their pragmatic effects (as doing restart, continuation, disjunction etc.) and with regard to the syntax and the linguistic units that speakers employ to achieve these effects.

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