On doing Japanese awe in English talk

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This study investigates how Japanese novice L2 speakers of English employ prosodic variations of the receipt particle oh to socially accomplish awe in L2 interaction. In addition to marking changes in epistemic states (Heritage 1984), these participants also produced oh in ways that mark their affective state. Specifically, an oh-response that was delivered as ‘ogh’, was taken by recipients to be conveying surprise or awe. Unlike “surprised receipts” found in L1 English use (Wilkinson and Kitzinger 2006), these “awed receipts” were delivered with decreased pitch and their vowel quality and sequential placement identified them as Japanese (L1) tokens. The chapter outlines several interactional loci which make public the speaker’s emotional stance toward some aspect of the prior interaction.


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