The interactional functions of yinwei-clauses in Mandarin conversation

  • Author / Creator
  • This thesis investigates the interactional functions of yinwei-clauses in Mandarin conversation. Adopting the methodology of Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguistics, the present study explores the function of yinwei-clause in 11 hours of everyday Mandarin conversational data. Yinwei-clauses in the data mainly have three interactional functions: accounts for prior actions, parentheticals providing background information, and opening a storytelling. The last two interactional functions have not been documented in previous studies. A detailed examination of the data shows that when used as accounts for prior actions, yinwei-clauses are observed to immediately follow and account for two types of actions: disagreement and assertion. When used as parenthetical, yinwei-clauses occur in two kinds of sequential environments: in the middle of an ongoing turn-constructional unit (TCU), and between TCUs in a multi-unit turn. As a parenthetical, the yinwei-clause provides background information for the speaker’s prior talk. At the possible completion of the parenthetical, the speaker usually deploys repetition and conjunctions to resume or continue the utterance prior to the yinwei-clause. The yinwei-clause also can be used to open a storytelling in the middle of a speaker’s turn. This study contributes to our understanding of the interactional functions of yinwei-clauses in everyday Mandarin conversation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.