Prosodic constructions in making complaints
What sorts of actions have phonetic exponents? Turn-taking and stance-marking can be handled phonetically: discontinuity (e.g. Couper-Kuhlen 2004a); prosodic stylisation (e.g. Ogden et al. 2004); <i>and-uhm</i> constructions (Local 2003); the use of ‘upgrading’ and ‘downgrading’ to mark types of agreement (Ogden 2006). Here I consider the linguistic construction of complaints based on a collection of complaints about third parties (Drew and Walker 2008). Two turn formats convey complaints. One format is designed to receive an affiliative response; the other is designed to close down a sequence. These turn types are phonetically distinct. Complaints are analysed as constructions: units of linguistic organisation that unite elements of linguistic form (including phonetics) with elements of meaning, including seeking affiliation and sequence management.