Affectivity in Interaction

Sound objects in English

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How do participants display affectivity in social interaction? Based on recordings of authentic everyday conversations and radio phone-ins, this study offers a fine-grained analysis of how recipients of affect-laden informings deploy sound objects, i.e. interjections (<i>oh</i>, <i>ooh</i> and <i>ah</i>) and paralinguistic signals (<i>whistle</i> and <i>clicks</i>),<i> </i>for responsive displays of affectivity. Examining the use of such sound objects across a number of interactional activities including news telling, troubles talk, complaining, assessments and repair, the study provides evidence that the sound pattern and sequential placement of sound objects systematically contribute to their specific meaning-making in interaction, i.e. the management of sequence organisation and interactional relevancies (e.g. affiliation). Presenting an in-depth analysis of a little researched area of language use from an interactional linguistic perspective, the book will be of theoretical and methodological interest to an audience with a background in linguistics, sociology and conversational studies.

Subjects: English linguistics; Germanic linguistics; Pragmatics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Würzburg

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