The re-examination of so-called ‘clefts’

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Using conversation analysis as a central tool for analysis, this chapter examines how conversational participants utilize a cleft construction, which begins with <i>-no wa</i> topic clause, as a resource to construct and process their turns at talk. Unlike the well-formed structure of this construction described in reference grammar, it is rare for the speakers in talk-in-interaction to end the unit initiated with the <i>-no wa</i> topic clause with a clause marked by a nominalizer. The current analysis demonstrates how the the <i>-no wa</i> topic clause serves as a prospective indexical that pre-announces the nature of the forthcoming extended talk and provides the recipients an interpretive framework, and thereby contributes to the investigation of the mutual relationship between interaction and grammar.


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