Other-repetitions in Mandarin Chinese
Functions and responses
Keywords:other-repetitions, responses, functions, mandarin chinese
It is generally acknowledged that other-repetitions have various functions in daily conversation. However, no research has yet been done to explore the relationship between their functions and responses. This study sets out to bridge this gap by investigating the functions of other-repetitions in Mandarin Chinese conversations as well as the relationships between the functions and the responses. Adopting the method of conversation analysis, the study shows that other-repetitions may be accomplished by no response, minimal response, and expanded response, which are highly related with the functions that other-repetitions fulfil. Specifically, (i) for other-repetitions serving as reactive tokens to show listenership, alignment, and registering of receipt, no response is needed; (ii) for other-repetitions indicating recipients’ understanding of the previous utterance, a further confirmation or minimal response is generally needed; and (iii) for other-repetitions with a rising intonation or particular stress of certain words indicating recipients’ failure in understanding what is uttered, they will be accomplished by expanded responses.
Chao, Y. R. (1968). A grammar of spoken Chinese. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Clancy, P. M., Thompson, S. A., Suzuki, R., & Tao, H. (1996). The conversational use of reactive tokens in English, Japanese, and Mandarin. Journal of Pragmatics, 26(3), 355–387. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(95)00036-4
Dumitrescu, D. (2008). Interrogative allo-repetitions in Mexican Spanish: Discourse functions and (im)politeness strategies. Pragmatics, 18(4), 659–680. https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.18.4.05dum
Fellegy, A. M. (1995). Patterns and functions of minimal response. American Speech, 70(2), 186–199. https://doi.org/10.2307/455815
Fujimura-Wilson, K. (2007). Japanese exact repetitions involving talk among friends. Discourse Studies, 9(3), 319–339. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445607076202
Greer, T., Andrade, V. B. S., Butterfield, J., & Mischinger, A. (2009). Receipt through repetition. JALT Journal, 31(1), 5–34.
Huang, C. (2011). Referential choice in Mandarin child language: A discourse-pragmatic perspective. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(7), 2057–2080. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2010.12.007
Huang, C. (2012). Parental other-repetition in Mandarin parent–child interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 44(4), 542–562. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2012.02.007
Johnstone, B. (1994). Repetition in discourse: Interdisciplinary perspectives(Vol. 1). Norwood, NJ: Ablex Pub. Co.
Kendrick, K. H. (2015). Other-initiated repair in English. Open Linguistics, 1(1), 164–190.
Kim, H. (2002). The form and function of next-turn repetition in English conversation. Language Research, 38(1), 51–81.
Li, B. (2006). Chinesefinal particles and the syntax of the periphery. Utrecht: LOT.
Li, C., & Thompson, S. A. (1981). Mandarin Chinese: A functional reference grammar. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Norrick, N. R. (1987). Functions of repetition in conversation. Text, 7(3), 245–264.
Perrin, L., Deshaies, D., & Paradis, C. (2003). Pragmatic functions of local diaphonic repetitions in conversation. Journal of Pragmatics, 35(12), 1843–1860. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0378-2166(03)00117-6
Reid, J. (1995). A study of gender differences in minimal responses. Journal of Pragmatics, 24(5), 489–512. https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(94)00066-n
Robinson, J. D., & Kevoe-Feldman, H. (2010). Using full repeats to initiate repair on others’ questions. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 43(3), 232–259. https://doi.org/10.1080/08351813.2010.497990
Sacks, H., Schegloff, E. A., & Jefferson, G. (1974). A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language, 50(4), 696–735. https://doi.org/10.2307/412243
Schegloff, E. A. (1992). Repair after next turn: The last structurally provided defense of intersubjectivity in conversation. American Journal of Sociology, 97(5), 1295–1345. https://doi.org/10.1086/229903
Schegloff, E. A. (1996). Issues of relevance for discourse analysis: Contingency in action, interaction and co-participant context. In E. H. Hovy & D. R. Scott (Eds.), Computational and Conversational Discourse(NATO ASI Series, Series F: Computer and Systems Sciences, Vol. 151, pp. 3–35). Berlin: Springer.
Schegloff, E. A. (1997). Practices and actions: Boundary cases of other?initiated repair. Discourse Processes, 23(3), 499–545. https://doi.org/10.1080/01638539709545001
Schegloff, E. A. (2000). When “others” initiate repair. Applied Linguistics, 21(2), 205–243. https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/21.2.205
Schegloff, E. A. (2001). Discourse as an interactional achievement III: The omnirelevance of action. In D. Schiffrin, D. Tannen, & H. E. Hamilton (Eds.), The Handbook of Discourse Analysis(pp. 229–249). Oxford: Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470753460.ch13
Sorjonen, M.-L. (1996). On repeats and responses in Finnish conversations. In O. Elinor, E. A. Schegloff, & S. A. Thompson (Eds.), Interaction and Grammar(pp. 277–327). Berlin: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1017/cbo9780511620874.006
Stivers, T. (2005). Modified repeats: One method for asserting primary rights from second position. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 38(2), 131–158. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327973rlsi3802_1
Svennevig, J. (2003). Echo answers in native/non-native interaction, Pragamtics, 13(2), 285–309. https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.13.2.04sve.
Svennevig, J. (2004). Other-repetition as display of hearing, understanding and emotional stance. Discourse Studies, 6(4), 489–516. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461445604046591
Tannen, D. (1984). Ordinary conversation and literary discourse: Coherence and the poetics of repetition. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 583(1), 15–30. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1990.tb12183.x
Tannen, D. (1987). Repetition in conversation: Toward a poetics of talk. Language,63(3), 574–605. https://doi.org/10.2307/415006
Tao, H. (1996). Units in Mandarin conversation: Prosody, discourse, and grammar. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Tsai, I. (2011). Grammar as situated practices: Conversational practices of two Mandarin yes/no question formats in talk-in-interaction(PhD dissertation). University of California, Los Angeles.
Wu, R. R. (2003). Stance in talk: A conversation analysis of Mandarin final particles.Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Wu, R. R. (2006). Initiating repair and beyond: The use of two repeat-formatted repair initiations in Mandarin conversation. Discourse Processes, 41(1), 67–109. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15326950dp4101_5
Xu, J. (2014). Displaying status of recipiency through reactive tokens in Mandarin task-oriented interaction. Journal of Pragmatics, 74, 33–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.08.008
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.