Stance in Talk
A conversation analysis of Mandarin final particles
Guided by the methodology of conversation analysis (CA), this book explores how participants in Mandarin conversation display stance in the unfolding development of action and interaction, and, in particular, how this is accomplished through the use of two Mandarin final particles. Through a close examination of the sequential environments of these two particles and the interactional work accomplished by their use, the research presented in this book seeks to demonstrate how a participant-oriented, action-based micro approach to data can help us gain analytic leverage in understanding the functions and meanings of these particles – an area which has long posed a challenge to Chinese linguists. On the other hand, in utilizing a CA-based framework applied to Mandarin, this study also seeks to contribute to conversation analytic research by revealing previously uninvestigated language-specific phenomena while at the same time showing how talk-in-interaction in a non-western language, i.e., Mandarin, can also display the same striking systematicity and orderliness as observed in many western languages. As one of the pioneering CA studies of Mandarin, this book will be of interest to researchers in Chinese linguistics and conversation analysis, as well as those in fields which touch upon the relationships between languages and cultures.