Prosodic variation in responses

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Highly structured sequential environments in which speakers manage complex (or divergent) relevancies constitute a perspicuous site for explicating the role of prosody in action-formation because a range of turn constructional resources are regularly pressed into service to manage distinct aspects of them. To illustrate this, I focus on three prosodic practices used to form type-conforming tokens (e.g., <i>yes</i> and <i>no</i>) deployed in responses to yes/no-type interrogatives (Raymond 2000, 2003). The environment for such responses are highly structured: the choice between alternative tokens establishes the basic valence of the responding action. Nevertheless, the relevancies they must manage can be complex &#8211; as in the case of &#8216;double-barreled&#8217; actions. In conclusion I compare two of these practices with others that exploit different elements of turn construction to highlight the specificity of prosodic resources, per se and note other similarly structured environments that might permit similar analyses.


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