The conversational use of reactive tokens in English, Japanese, and Mandarin

Patricia M. Clancy, Sandra A. Thompson, Ryoko Suzuki, Hongyin Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

128 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper investigates 'Reactive Tokens' in Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and English. Our definition of 'Reactive Token' (= 'RT') is 'a short utterance produced by an interlocutor who is playing a listener's role during the other interlocutor's speakership'. That is, Reactive Tokens will normally not disrupt the primary speaker's speakership, and do not in themselves claim the floor. Using corpora of conversational interactions from each of the three languages of our study, we distinguish among several types of RTs, and show that the three languages differ in terms of the types of RTs favored, the frequency with which RTs are used in conversation, and the way in which speakers distribute their RTs across conversational units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-387
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Sep
Externally publishedYes

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Language
language
listener
conversation
interaction
Interlocutors
Listeners
Mandarin Chinese
Utterance
Interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

The conversational use of reactive tokens in English, Japanese, and Mandarin. / Clancy, Patricia M.; Thompson, Sandra A.; Suzuki, Ryoko; Tao, Hongyin.

In: Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 26, No. 3, 09.1996, p. 355-387.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Clancy, Patricia M. ; Thompson, Sandra A. ; Suzuki, Ryoko ; Tao, Hongyin. / The conversational use of reactive tokens in English, Japanese, and Mandarin. In: Journal of Pragmatics. 1996 ; Vol. 26, No. 3. pp. 355-387.
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