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7. Backchannels as a realization of interaction

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The use of Mm and Mhm, as ‘linguistic feedback items’ (LFI), is explored in the interactions of Spanish-speaking Swedish bilingual adolescents. Results show that these LFI support the realization of the dialogue and function to continue the interaction and the acknowledgement of what is said by the interlocutor when pronounced with a flat or rising intonation, or to continue confirmation of questions or orders. The quantitative analysis shows that its use is more frequent with the bilingual youth than with the monolinguals in Spanish. This result could be interpreted as the transfer of the use of these items in Swedish to the Spanish interactions.

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