This special issue of the Journal of Pragmatics concerns the activity of inviting and responding to invitations in authentic telephone calls in six different languages. Using Conversational Analysis to investigate telephone calls that were audiorecorded in family homes, and in one case, in a bank office, the papers here included focus on invitations to friends, family members, acquaintances and other casual recipients in ordinary and institutional conversations. We have two main goals in this special issue. First, owing to the number and size of the corpora analyzed, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the action of inviting as an interactional task; we hope to discover a clearer picture of what speakers actually do when they invite others to participate in social events beyond our vernacular understanding of the activity. We aim to examine in close detail speakers' linguistic and communicative conduct, both when they are engaged in extending an invitation, and when they receive, recognize and respond to it. Our second general aim bears on the uniformity of the corpora and of the settings in which the interactions took place. In all but the paper on the invitation by a bank employee to clients, calls were almost exclusively addressed to relatives, friends and acquaintances. The uniformity of the settings across the corpora, combined with the different languages in which talk was produced, provides an opportunity to draw some observations on the feasibility and relevance of comparative analysis of actions across languages. In this introduction we outline the project behind this collection, as related to the two dimensions, highlighting how these connect with the results of prior research on inviting from other approaches, perspectives and traditions. In Section 1, we provide a provisional characterization of the specific action of inviting. Section 2 focuses on the data and the method of Conversation Analysis (CA), which was adopted in all papers. In Section 3, we review prior relevant research on invitations from other perspectives and traditions in pragmatics and in cross-language studies. In Section 4, we return to the characterization of inviting, in the light of our prior explication of CA's view on language and social actions. Finally, in Section 5 we outline the major dimensions and analytic categories of the action of inviting that constitute a common thread among the papers, before illustrating each article.

Invitations and responses across different languages: Observations on the feasibility and relevance of a cross-linguistic comparative perspective on the study of actions / Margutti, Piera; Tainio, Liisa; Drew, Paul; Traverso, Véronique. - In: JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS. - ISSN 0378-2166. - 125:(2018), pp. 52-61. [10.1016/j.pragma.2017.12.010]

Invitations and responses across different languages: Observations on the feasibility and relevance of a cross-linguistic comparative perspective on the study of actions

Margutti, Piera
;
Traverso, Véronique
2018

Abstract

This special issue of the Journal of Pragmatics concerns the activity of inviting and responding to invitations in authentic telephone calls in six different languages. Using Conversational Analysis to investigate telephone calls that were audiorecorded in family homes, and in one case, in a bank office, the papers here included focus on invitations to friends, family members, acquaintances and other casual recipients in ordinary and institutional conversations. We have two main goals in this special issue. First, owing to the number and size of the corpora analyzed, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the action of inviting as an interactional task; we hope to discover a clearer picture of what speakers actually do when they invite others to participate in social events beyond our vernacular understanding of the activity. We aim to examine in close detail speakers' linguistic and communicative conduct, both when they are engaged in extending an invitation, and when they receive, recognize and respond to it. Our second general aim bears on the uniformity of the corpora and of the settings in which the interactions took place. In all but the paper on the invitation by a bank employee to clients, calls were almost exclusively addressed to relatives, friends and acquaintances. The uniformity of the settings across the corpora, combined with the different languages in which talk was produced, provides an opportunity to draw some observations on the feasibility and relevance of comparative analysis of actions across languages. In this introduction we outline the project behind this collection, as related to the two dimensions, highlighting how these connect with the results of prior research on inviting from other approaches, perspectives and traditions. In Section 1, we provide a provisional characterization of the specific action of inviting. Section 2 focuses on the data and the method of Conversation Analysis (CA), which was adopted in all papers. In Section 3, we review prior relevant research on invitations from other perspectives and traditions in pragmatics and in cross-language studies. In Section 4, we return to the characterization of inviting, in the light of our prior explication of CA's view on language and social actions. Finally, in Section 5 we outline the major dimensions and analytic categories of the action of inviting that constitute a common thread among the papers, before illustrating each article.
2018
feb-2018
125
52
61
Invitations and responses across different languages: Observations on the feasibility and relevance of a cross-linguistic comparative perspective on the study of actions / Margutti, Piera; Tainio, Liisa; Drew, Paul; Traverso, Véronique. - In: JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS. - ISSN 0378-2166. - 125:(2018), pp. 52-61. [10.1016/j.pragma.2017.12.010]
Margutti, Piera; Tainio, Liisa; Drew, Paul; Traverso, Véronique
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