Request Sequences

The intersection of grammar, interaction and social context

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This monograph provides a micro-analytic description of instances of requests in everyday German conversation. Using the framework of CA, the study systematically analyzes the grammatical and syntactical structure of the request-turn and its response and of the conversational exchanges before and within the request base sequence, and the placement of the request sequence within the larger social interaction. Through an empirical analysis of individual cases of request sequences in German, the monograph describes in detail: (a) how speakers employ grammar and syntax as resources to construct turns at talk and accomplish the social action of request; (b) how speakers use grammatical and syntactical forms of the language to coordinate the production of the social action of requests; (c) how speakers use grammar and syntax as interactional resources to manage affiliative and remedial work (i.e., face work) when performing delicate social actions such as requests; and (d) how the context of the request activity impacts the grammatical and syntactical constructions of speakers’ utterances. Additionally, the monograph demonstrates that both the grammatical construction of turns and their placement within the talk are oriented to the sequential context of the interaction.

Subjects: English linguistics; Pragmatics; Syntax; Discourse studies; Germanic linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Kansas

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