Generic solicitude in sequence-initial position as a practice for pre-closing proposals in Mandarin telephone calls


  • Boyu Dong Shanxi University and Qingdao Agricultural University
  • Yaxin Wu Guangdong University of Foreign Studies



generic solicitudes, pre-closings, telephone calls, conversation analysis


Based on 200 mundane Mandarin Chinese telephone calls, this article describes the composition of generic solicitude in sequence-initial position in the closing section of telephone calls. Two types of generic solicitude are found, namely, stand-alone generic solicitude and composite generic solicitude. Stand-alone generic solicitudes are found in single unit turns and usually occur in imperatives like Adj + dianr + V. The recipients frequently accept the generic solicitude by displaying minimal response followed by a terminal sequence. Composite generic solicitudes occur in multi-unit turns which include closing components and generic solicitudes. The recipients may accept or reject the pre-closing proposal by way of a composite generic solicitude. The generic solicitude could be expanded by both participants. The article concludes that generic solicitude is a practice for pre-closing proposals in Mandarin telephone calls. Generic solicitudes in the closing section of a telephone call function to establish the closing-relevant environment and reaffirm relationship work. This article contributes to our understanding of the organisation of telephone closings in Mandarin interaction.

Author Biographies

Boyu Dong, Shanxi University and Qingdao Agricultural University

Boyu Dong is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Shanxi University and a lecturer in linguistics at Qingdao Agricultural University, China. She received her PhD in linguistics from Jilin University, P. R. China. Her research interests include telephone closings in Mandarin Chinese and advice on family talk.

Yaxin Wu, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Yaxin Wu (PhD, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, P. R. China) is a professor of linguistics at Ocean University of China. Her publications include research on communicative strategies, meta-pragmatics and the interface between pragmatics and social psychology, miscommunication, and personal relationships in language and social interaction. Currently her research focus is on particles in Mandarin from the conversation analytic perspective.


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How to Cite

Dong, B., & Wu, Y. (2020). Generic solicitude in sequence-initial position as a practice for pre-closing proposals in Mandarin telephone calls. East Asian Pragmatics, 5(3), 393–418.