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Treating something as self-evident. No-prefaced turns in Polish

This chapter offers a detailed sequential examination of the usage of the turn-initial Polish particle no in responsive actions. It demonstrates that no represents a particular kind of epistemic stance, where it contributes a “my side” positioning of
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  Tis is a contribution from Between Turn and Sequence. Turn-initial particles across languages . Edited by John Heritage and Marja-Leena Sorjonen.© 󰀲󰀰󰀱󰀸. John Benjamins Publishing Company Tis electronic file may not be altered in any way.Te author(s) of this article is/are permitted to use this PDF file to generate printed copies to be used by way of offprints, for their personal use only.Permission is granted by the publishers to post this file on a closed server which is accessible to members (students and staff) only of the author’s/s’ institute, it is not permitted to post this PDF on the open internet.For any other use of this material prior written permission should be obtained from the publishers or through the Copyright Clearance Center (for USA: Please contact or consult our website: ables of Contents, abstracts and guidelines are available at John Benjamins Publishing Company    . /slsi.󰀳󰀱.󰀰󰀸wei©   John Benjamins Publishing Company  󰁣󰁨󰁡󰁰󰁴󰁥󰁲 􀀸 Treating something as self-evident No -preaced turns in Polish Matylda Weidner Kazimierz Wielki University Tis chapter offers a detailed sequential examination o the usage o the turn-initial Polish particle no  in responsive actions. It demonstrates that no  represents a particular kind o epistemic stance, where it contributes a “my side” positioning o the no  speaker, and in this way participates in the local management o epistemic relations between speakers o Polish. Drawing on the analysis o data rom both institutional and ordinary interactions, I demonstrate that stand-alone no  and no- preaces index the stance o the current speaker towards the prior speaker’s turn or action. No  operates on three layers, which are invoked by the particular sequential and activity contexts in which the particle occurs. Te primary unction o no  is to treat the content o the prior speaker’s turn as already known or sel-evident. Second, associated with that treatment, no  invokes its speaker’s “my-side” perspective and alerts the recipient to a possible incongruity between the no  speaker’s epistemic status vis-à-vis the recipient’s perspective. Te third layer is sequential in character and drawing on the affordances created by the two other epistemic and stance-related layers, exploits these basic interactional capacities o no  in a urther direction. When this happens, a no -preaced action can set a given piece o knowledge aside and hence contribute to sequence closure and coincide with a topic and/or an activity shif. Based on the analysis o both the preceding and subsequent talk surrounding no , this chapter illustrates some systematic regularities related to the usage o no , which offer empirical evidence that no  is implicated in oreshadowing epistemic stance in contexts o epistemic incongruence. Keywords: conversation analysis; turn-initial position; Polish; interaction; action design; action recognition; particles; epistemic stance; epistemic status    Matylda Weidner . Introduction urn beginnings can be thought o as a particular kind o a double-edged sword. For one thing, they are places at which speakers display their analysis o the prior turn and launch the trajectory o the ensuing turn: in this way, turn beginnings are an important loci o stance-taking. On the other hand, particles and other vocal elements that occur at turn beginnings are, to a large degree, context-bound and semantically uzzy. One such element in Polish is the untranslatable particle no , characterized by lack o uniorm semantics and multiple derivative layers o usage. One o the most requently used words in Polish, no  has been notoriously difficult to analyze. A query in the National Corpus o Spoken Polish 1  produces a daunting result o more than 698,000 occurrences o no , where most o the instances have been reported to come rom interactive Internet sources (e.g., blogs), journalis-tic sources, and conversational data. No  requently preaces a variety o lexically conventionalized turn constructional units (CU) (e.g., no właśnie  ‘ no  exactly’, no oczywiście  ‘ no  o course’ or no wiadomo  ‘ no  obviously’), where it reinorces the in-the-know stance expressed by these lexical elements. However, this chapter illustrates that no  oreshadows an independently knowledgeable or in-the-know epistemic stance even when preacing turns o a non-conventionalized character (i.e., non-idiomatic phrases, clauses and more complex units).Te data o this study come rom both institutional and ordinary interactions. Te institutional corpus consists o 20 audiotaped doctor-patient interactions in a secondary care context and contains 699 instances o no . Te telephone data, which comprise ordinary conversations among riends and calls to a retail com-pany that sells wooden shelving systems, consist o 50 calls and 728 instances o no . Tis diverse distribution o no  in the corpus demonstrates that its occurrence is not limited to any particular interactional context in Polish talk-in-interaction. While the data provide empirical evidence that no  can occur in all positions in a turn (i.e., initial, medial and final), the prevailing unction o no  in turn-initial position is that o oreshadowing or reinorcing epistemic stance in a range o sequential contexts where responsive actions seem to be characterized by epis-temic incongruity. In this chapter I will first show examples in which no  occurs in question-answer sequences, and subsequently I will discuss the use o no  as a turn preace in other sequence types. Beore presenting the analyses, however, I will review prior research on no  as well as consider its relation to another response token in Polish, tak . .   Chapter 8. reating something as sel-evident  . Points of departure for no Dictionaries present a contradictory picture o the unctions o no , classiying it either as a particle (Szymczak 1978–1981: 384), a metatextual operator (Dunaj  1996: 622), a word (Doroszewski 1999: 334), or an interjection (Bańko 2000: 1037). Founded upon highly divergent syntactic, semantic and pragmatic theories, the categorizations proposed by these dictionaries illustrate how conusing and incon-gruent the prevailing non-empirical understanding o no  is. Tis is also supported by Wierzbicka’s (1976) cross-linguistic research and her observation that no  has a “remarkably complex” meaning. Pisarkowa (1975: 43), whose observations are based on the analysis o the (syntactic) architecture o telephone conversations in Polish, reers to no  as the most requently used expressive word that initiates utter-ances in these conversations, urther noting that no  can also occur as a preace to a conclusion, unction as a confirmatory response to a yes/no question, or have an imperative coloring as in Wiesz, dlaczego pytam? No? (‘powiedz’)  ‘You know why I’m asking? No ? (‘tell me’) (c. Bolden 2016; Maschler 2003 ; Sorjonen 2001, 2002  or cross-linguistic unctions o related particles). Reerring to Wierzbicka’s obser- vations, Kryk (1992: 203) proposes that in the initial or medial position, no  is the most popular Polish discourse particle that in most cases corresponds to English ‘well’ and signals that the speaker is thinking about what to say next. However, when no  occurs utterance-finally, its ormal and unctional properties are that o an interjection, corresponding to English ‘yeah’ (Kryk 1992, 203). Like Pisarkowa, Kryk also notes the confirmatory unction o no , particularly in contexts where no  constitutes a “confirmation o the speaker’s opinion on the part o the hearer (meaning something like  you’re right/exactly  )” (Kryk 1992, 204). A recent compar-ative study on the pragmatic equivalence between particles in Polish and German (Szulc-Brzozowska 2010) confirms the earlier observations on the unrestricted positioning o no  in a sentence, but has very little to say about the unctions o no , except or the act that it merely implies an agreement ‘between the speaker and the proposition’ (Szulc-Brzozowska 2010, 25). Tis chapter relates to that previous body o work on Polish no , but takes a systematic look at the particle and explores the relationship between knowledge and context determined unctions o no  rela-tive to its position in a turn and sequence. .  No  and its epistemic layers Te unction o no  can be best understood with reerence to three layers, which are invoked by the particular sequential and activity contexts in which no  occurs. Te basic unction is to treat the content o the prior speaker’s turn    Matylda Weidner as already known or sel-evident: (i) on the basis o common knowledge and common epistemic access; (ii) because the issue has already been mentioned on some prior occasion and should thus already be known to the participants; or (iii) when the prior speaker assumes a more knowledgeable position (K+ position, Heritage 2012a: 4), where no  is used to push back on that assumption. Layered on to this is the unction o no  that invokes the speaker’s “my-side” perspective, which brings to the oreground the participants’ epistemic status in relation to their epistemic access or rights to some particular inormation. Tis is where the primary task o no , that is, treating something as sel-evident, becomes more nuanced. For instance, by taking the stance that something is no news in a context where the co- participant’s epistemic stance conveyed the contrary, no  alerts the recipient to incongruence between its speaker’s epis-temic status vis-à-vis the recipient’s (Heritage 2013; Stivers 2011). Te third layer is sequential in character and ollows rom the first two layers. No  and no -preaced responses, by indexing the obvious and/or the-known-in-common character o a piece o inormation, can set a given piece o knowledge aside and hence contribute to sequence closure and, ofen, topic transition. In this way the basic task o no  is exploited in a urther direction, where the action accomplished by a no- preaced turn requently coincides with a topic and/or an activity shif. Here no- preaced turns can contribute to a resolution o the asymmetry between the participants regarding their rights to knowledge, the oundations o that knowledge and the assumptions regarding that knowledge, and may contingently contribute to topic or sequence closure and a transition to another topic (Beach 1993; Jefferson 1983a; Sorjonen 2001). On the whole, my analysis shows that the prevalent environment or the occurrence o no  is one in which the prior speaker has assumed an ‘in the know’ (K+) position, and no- preaced turns are used to push back on that assumption. In this context, no  may index a stance that adds an oppositional or, less requently, an affiliative quality to the turn o which it is a part. Te analyses presented in this chapter demonstrate both o these outcomes. .  No  versus tak Te particle no  has a stance-related unction and invokes the speaker’s epistemic status in contexts o incongruence between the participants’ knowledge. It ur-nishes a response that is different rom an affirmative answer provided by the positive interjection tak  ‘yes’ in Polish. Excerpt (1) below illustrates the difference between these two response elements, occurring as stand-alone tokens. Crucially, in the ramework o the analyses presented in this chapter, as a stand-alone par-ticle, no  can do some o the same interactional work as turn-initial no .
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