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I S S U E    N O .    52    [ June  2 0 1 1]

Melisa Stevanovic

Participants’ Deontic Rights and Action Formation: The Case of Declarative Requests for Action

In the domain of conversation analysis, there has recently been a growing interest in the exact mechanisms of action formation; why is an utterance heard as conveying a certain action and not something else? This paper aims to contribute to this line of research; it considers the role of participants’ deontic rights in action formation. By using declarative requests for action as an example, I demonstrate how participants make judgments about their deontic rights relative to their co-participants and use these judgments as a resource as they (1) design their turns at talk to carry out certain actions and (2) interpret their co-participants’ turns at talk as certain actions. Two types of declarative statements are considered: (1) statements about the speaker and (2) statements about future actions. In both cases, it can be seen how the speaker’s high deontic status relative to the recipient is the decisive condition for the recipient to recognize the utterance as implementing a request for him to act. On the basis of these findings, it seems that conversation analytically informed theorizing on action formation needs to deal with the “real world” features, such as the context of ongoing activities, the larger institutional framework and the participants’ social roles, in a more systematic way than has been done in the past.

 To cite this publication:

Melisa Stevanovic, Participants’ Deontic Rights and Action Formation: The Case of Declarative Requests for Action, InLiSt - Interaction and Linguistic Structures, No. 52, June 2011, URL: <http://www.inlist.uni-bayreuth.de/issues/52/InLiSt52.pdf>



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