Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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The co-production of a sentence is a phenomenon that is widely observed in talk-in-interaction across languages. However, with a few notable exceptions, there is still much room for the investigation of how the co-production of sentences is put to the service of specific actions and activities in different language communities. This paper, using 10 hours of video-recorded data, examines the co-production of assessments (“collaborative assessments”) in Mandarin conversation. It is found that speakers can use syntactic, prosodic, and bodily-visual devices to realize assessment collaboration, and that the functions of collaborative assessment include (1) helping provide a candidate assessment term and facilitating the assessment; (2) articulating/specifying ‘vague’ assessments; (3) helping complete the foreshadowing of a negative assessment term; and (4) co-participation in the assessment activity. This paper also discusses the design features of co-completion and subsequent responses on the basis of the continuum of speakers’ epistemic authority and agency in collaborative assessment sequences and concludes with some implications of this study for grammar as practice.


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