Modified repeats: one method for asserting primary rights from second position

TitleModified repeats: one method for asserting primary rights from second position
Publication TypePresentation
Year of Publication2006
Conference NameSummer Meeting on Corpus-based Research
AuthorsStivers, Tanya
PublisherNederlandse Vereniging voor Fonetische Wetenschappen
Conference LocationNijmegen, The Netherlands

This presentation examines one practice speakers have for confirming when confirmation was not otherwise relevant. The data are a collection taken from video and audio recordings of spontaneous face-to-face and telephone conversations between family members and friends. The practice I analyze here involves a speaker repeating an assertion previously made by another speaker in modified form with stress on the copula/auxiliary. It is argued that these modified repeats work to undermine the first speaker's default ownership and rights over the claim being made and instead assert the primacy of the second speaker's rights to make the statement.

Two types of modified repeats are identified: partial and full. Though both involve competing for primacy of the claim, they occur in distinct sequential environments: the former are generally positioned after a first claim was epistemically downgraded whereas the latter are positioned following initial claims that were offered straightforwardly, without downgrading.