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Social actions

  • Social actions are recipient-designed actions that occur in the context of interaction sequences. This chapter focuses on sources and practices for the formation and ascription of social actions. While linguists stress the relevance of linguistic social action formats, conversation analysts highlight the relevance of the sequential position of an action, and sociolinguists point to the influence of social identities for action-formation and -ascription. The combination of these three approaches helps us to solve the analytic problem of indirectness, which, however, only rarely becomes a problem for the participants in an interaction themselves. Social properties which recurrently apply when using verbal and bodily resources of action-formation, i.e. the social actions themselves, inferred meanings, projected next actions, the participation framework, the activity type, speaker’s stance, participants’ identities, etc. lead to stable pragmatic connotations of those forms, i.e. action-meanings, which become idiomatic and part of our common-sense competence. Still, social actions are multi-layered and can be ambiguous at times. Therefore, their meaning can be open for negotiation. Intersubjectivity of action ascription is ultimately secured neither by conventions nor by speaker’s intentions, but is accomplished by their treatment in subsequent discourse.

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Author:Arnulf DeppermannORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):The Cambridge Handbook of Sociopragmatics
Series (Serial Number):Cambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics (-)
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Place of publication:Cambridge
Editor:Michael Haugh, Dániel Z. Kádár, Marina Terkourafi
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2021
Date of Publication (online):2021/05/28
Tag:action ascription; action formation; conversation analysis; recipient design; speech acts
GND Keyword:Interaktion; Konversationsanalyse; Soziale Identität; Soziales Handeln; Soziolinguistik; Sprechakt
First Page:69
Last Page:94
Dieser Beitrag ist aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen nicht frei zugänglich.  / Due to copyright reasons the full-text of the article is not freely accessible.
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:nein
Program areas:P1: Interaktion
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt