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image of Overlapping as final-item completion in Mandarin conversation
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Abstract

Abstract

This study locates as its focus the site for the final item in a sentence-in-progress as a late but systematic opportunity space for co-completing sentences by another speaker, and as a systematic site for brief overlaps. A second speaker may supply a version of the final item as projected by the grammatical structure of the sentence-so-far in given contexts to offer assistance for the searched-for final item upon the current speaker’s displayed delivery trouble, or to show an early recognition of what the current turn is doing and what it takes for its completion in the absence of any display of delivery trouble. The overlap in the first case may be ‘accidental’ when the first speaker is able to produce his/her own final item a moment later, or it may be an ‘achieved’ early start in the second case. The same opportunity space may also be ‘exploited’. Final items proposed by the second speaker may generate a local sequence where its acceptability becomes relevant. Post-overlap responses by the first speaker often show acceptance, sometimes with qualification. We argue that overlapping final-item completion is a result of speakers’ active participation and high involvement, and is motivated by the fundamental baseline of cooperation and collaboration in human social interaction.

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/content/journals/10.1075/cld.00034.zha
2021-04-02
2021-04-17
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