Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This paper investigates the use of grammatical forms in directive sequences by drawing on daily interactions between colleagues in a medical laboratory in Hong Kong. From a conversation analytic perspective, we focus on how directives in Cantonese are commonly formulated and how the force of a directive is mitigated. Our analysis shows that (1) the imperative seems to be the most frequently used syntactic form for giving directives and there is no apparent hierarchical (‘power’) differentiation, (2) the imperative-formulated directives are frequently mitigated by the use of a range of linguistic forms as well as interactional resources.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Cantonese , Directives , grammar and interaction , mitigation devices and workplace interaction
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