Little Words That Matter: Discourse Markers “So” and “Oh” and the Doing of Other-Attentiveness in Social Interaction
The article presents an analysis of actual, recorded social interactions between close familiars with the goal to describe discursive practices involved in showing engagement with the other party, or other-attentiveness. Focusing on the deployment of the discourse markers “so” and “oh” in utterances that launch new conversational topics, the article demonstrates that “so” overwhelmingly prefaces other-attentive topics, whereas “oh” prefaces self-attentive topics. We consider the interactional implications of this distribution and how the basic meanings of these linguistic objects are employed in the service of communicating interpersonal involvement.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2006