East Asian Pragmatics, Vol 5, No 3 (2020)

Displaying entitlement: Accounts in Request Sequences

Shu Liu
Issued Date: 16 Nov 2020


Adopting the methodology of Conversation Analysis, this study researches into accounts in request sequences in mundane Mandarin conversations. It demonstrates that accounts are normatively due in request sequences, which are placed normally in four sequential positions, namely pre-expansions, the request turn (either prior or subsequent to the request proper), insert expansions and post-expansions. Across these positions, accounts usually accomplish four main interactional imports: soliciting pre-emptive offers, justifying the initiation of the request, forestalling a dispreferred response and legitimizing the initiated request. These functions can be managed through providing background information attributing to the requester’s trouble, his inability to fulfill/ get the requested action/ the requested object and expressing his immediate or future needs. Taken together, accounts display the requester’s normative orientation to which accounts are deployed as a device showing the requester’s entitlement to make a request.


DOI: 10.1558/eap.40080


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