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Grammar in interaction: Polar interrogative sequences in Syrian Arabic talk-in-interaction

Martini, Leonardo Fawaz (2020) Grammar in interaction: Polar interrogative sequences in Syrian Arabic talk-in-interaction. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

The current study investigates the sequential organisation of the Syrian Arabic polar interrogative sequence. By implementing Conversation Analysis ethnomethodology, the study explores the action and form-related preferences which underpin the structure and the various trajectories of this type of sequence. The study demonstrates that some Syrian Arabic language-specific features, such as the conventionally declarative form of polar interrogatives, promote specific types of responses, such as repetitions. In the absence of morphosyntactic marking of polar interrogatives in Syrian Arabic, interactants orient to epistemic asymmetry and sequential positioning to mark a turn-at-talk as a polar question. One outcome of such orientation is that Syrian Arabic interactants display high sensitivity towards each other’s epistemic rights. Syrian Arabic interactants implement various lexical, grammatical and sequential resources to index their level of epistemic access to the issue in question. Responses to polar interrogative questions vary according to the level of knowledge indexed and projected in those questions. The level of knowledge indexed and projected in polar questions would also determine whether a third turn is relevant or not within the polar interrogative sequence. The position of the polar interrogative sequence within talk-in-interaction has also an impact over the form and the extent of the response. The position of the polar interrogative sequence also determines whether a third turn is relevant or not within that sequence. This study also demonstrates that the polar question/response system in Syrian Arabic is strongly biased towards positive format in terms of grammar. Such form-related bias intersects with the action-related bias towards confirmation, agreement and acceptance. Finally, the current study demonstrates that Syrian Arabic interactants orient to achieving intersubjectivity before bringing the polar interrogative sequence to closure.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Polar interrogative sequence; Syrian Arabic; yes/no; Epistemic asymmetry; Epistemic rights; Polar answer; Syntactic polarity; ʔeh/laʔ; Intersubjectivity; Talk-in-interaction
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Leonardo Martini
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2020 14:31
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2020 14:31
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28630

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