Displaying Recipiency

Reactive tokens in Mandarin task-oriented interaction

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This book is intended to address students, researchers and teachers of spoken language. It presents an empirical study of task-oriented language data in which coparticipants display levels of recipiency through reactive tokens. An in-depth investigation of displaying recipiency is of interest primarily to conversation analysts and pragmaticians involved in the research on talk-in-interaction in general and Mandarin Chinese conversations in particular. The communicative aspect makes this book relevant to the areas of language use. While previous research has shown that one single reactive token has different discourse functions in different conversational environments, this study shows that participants’ collaborative orientation to each other’s status of displayed recipiency seems decisive for the selection of reactive tokens, rather than one specific reactive token being employed for specific conversational purposes in varying interactional contexts. This book also contributes to fields in linguistics, pragmatics, and sociology which specialize in the investigation of spontaneous human communication.

Subjects: Sino-Tibetan languages; Discourse studies; Pragmatics

  • Affiliations: 1: Hunan University

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