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Oh-prefaced responses to inquiry

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 July 2012

John Heritage
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1551, heritage@soc.ucla.edu
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

In responses to English questions, prefacing with the particle oh indicates that, from the viewpoint of the answerer, a question is problematic in terms of its relevance, presuppositions, or context. In addition, oh-prefacing is used to foreshadow reluctance to advance the conversational topic invoked by a question; it may also be part of a “trouble-premonitory” response to various types of How are you inquiries in conversational openings and elsewhere. (Conversation analysis, English, utterance design, particles.)

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1998

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