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Dynamic Resonance, Timing, and impoliteness of Interruptions in Chinese Everyday Conversations.

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Abstractpeer-review

Publication date07/2019
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event14th Annual Lancaster Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics and Language Teaching - Lancaster University, Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 11/07/201911/07/2019


Conference14th Annual Lancaster Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics and Language Teaching
CountryUnited Kingdom


Research into interruption, confined to Conversation Analysis, has centred on various systemic classifications and the connection with gender (Beattie, 1981; Zimmerman & West, 1975), power relations (Farley, 2008; Ferguson 1977; O’Reilly, 2006, 2008). Myriads of incongruent classifications account for the differing and even contrasting findings in terms of its relationship with other social parameters (Hutchby, 1992). The current study, embarking on a functional view of the definition and classification, explores its generation and interplay with (im)politeness by drawing on dynamic resonance, timing. As the “catalytic activation of affinities across utterances” (Du Bois, 2014: 372)”, resonance can be represented via borrowing conventionalised utterances (systemic resonance) by the prior speaker or dynamically creating new constructions (dynamic resonance) based on the previous ones. Using the CALLHOME Mandarin Chinese corpus, I choose 120 unscripted naturally occurring telephone conversations between native speakers of Mandarin Chinese. I will focus on interruptions which are initiated in the course of the current turn, be it supportive or intrusive. This study aims at answering under the context of everyday conversations (a) When do interruptions occur and how do interrupting turns interplay textually with previous turns? (b) How do timing and resonance of interruptions intersect with (im)politeness (Hotgraves, 2001; Jonanthan, 2011)? Based on 20 pilot study conversation, I propose three formulae of dynamic resonance: (a) Addition (X → X+Y), the new construction consisting of an intact original construction and a new one; (b) Substitution (X → X’), the new construction consisting of a syntactically or semantically modified original one; (c) Fusion (X+Y+…+ (N) → T), the new construction merging the prior two or more constructions syntactically or semantically. Timing is divided into three groups: turn-initial, turn-middle, and turn-final. The investigation of timing and resonance in interruption turns are expected to make contributions to the linguistic representation of impoliteness in interactions.