Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


Against the theoretical and methodological background of conversation analysis (CA), the author addresses the issue of the contextual conditions for a specific type of grammatical phenomenon: answers to yes-no questions. She distinguishes five kinds of answers: two minimal ones, one next to minimal one, and two sentential types of answers. Minimal and non-minimal types of answers are shown to be doing different kinds of work in an interaction, full sentence answers addressing a wider range of features oriented to in the context either by the questioner or in the interpretation. The different types are placed along a confirmation-negation continuum.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Hakulinen, Auli
    (2000) On some uses of the discourse particle kyl(lä) in Finnish conversations. In E. Couper-Kuhlen & M. Selting (eds.), Interactional linguistics. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/sidag.10.09hak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sidag.10.09hak [Google Scholar]
  2. Laitinen, Lea
    (1995) Nollapersoona [The zero person]. Virittäjä 99.3: 337-358.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Raevaara, Liisa
    (1993) Kysyminen toimintana. [Questioning as an activity]. Unpublished licentiate thesis, Department of Finnish, University of Helsinki.
  4. Raymond, Geoffrey
    (2000) Type-conforming and non-conforming responses to yes/no questions. Ph. Dissertation, Department of Sociology, UCLA.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Sacks, Harvey
    (1992) Lecture 2, Fall 1968; Lecture 2, Spring 1972. In G. Jefferson (ed.), Lectures on conversation, Vol II. Oxford & Cambridge: Blackwell, pp. 410-415, 533-541.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Sadock, Jerry , and Arnold Zwicky
    (1985) Speech act distinctions in syntax. In T. Shopen (ed.), Language typology and syntactic description, Vol I. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 155-196.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Sorjonen, Marja-Leena
    (forthcoming) Simple answers to polar questions: The case of Finnish. In E. Couper-Kuhlen & M. Selting (eds Interactional linguistics. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/sidag.10.18sor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sidag.10.18sor [Google Scholar]
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Answer; Conversation; Grammar and contex; Typology; Yes-no question
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error