Chinese interrogative particles as talk coordinators at the right periphery A discourse-pragmatic perspective

Winnie CHOR, Foong Ha Yap, Tak Sum Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines how utterance-final interrogative particles in Chinese contribute to the management of local and global coherence in conversational discourse. Using Schiffrin's (1987) model of discourse coherence, and focusing in particular on the Cantonese particle ho2 we show how an interrogative particle is often also used as an interactional particle.1 In the case of ho2, we show how this information-seeking particle is frequently recruited as an affirmationseeking and solidarity-enhancing device. Special attention is given to the extended uses of ho2 in terms of Schiffrin's exchange and action structures, as well as participation frameworks and information states. Our analysis highlights how speakers effectively use utterance particles as exemplified by ho2 to convey their (inter)subjective footing and in the process negotiate meaningful affiliative/disaffiliative interaction among interlocutors, and thereby achieve discourse coherence for effective communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-207
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Historical Pragmatics
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • Affirmation marker
  • Cantonese ho
  • Common ground marker
  • Discourse coherence model
  • Interactional particles
  • Interrogative particles

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