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Open Access Tunes in Free Variation and Sequentially Determined Pitch Alignment: Evidence from Interactional Organisation

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Tunes in Free Variation and Sequentially Determined Pitch Alignment: Evidence from Interactional Organisation

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image of Journal of Greek Linguistics

Results arising from a study of the prosodic organisation of everyday talk in Greek suggest that 'falling' and 'rising' tunes might occur in free variation in certain interactional contexts. They also show that, at least for Greek, pitch alignment of rising tunes might be interactionally driven. I explore these possibilities by examining the organisation of two interactional sequences: a) response-to-summons turns (i.e. the first utterance by the recipient of a call) at the openings of Greek telephone calls, b) sequences involving the Greek continuer ne. Analysis of the first data set of response-to-summons turns suggests that the choice of falling or rising tune does not appear to have consequences for the design or subsequent development of the talk. Nor is there evidence in the interactional behaviour of the participants that the choice conveys a difference in pragmatic nuance. Analysis of the second data set shows that pitch alignment of rising tunes might be dependent on the interactional function and/or lexical design of the turn they occur in.

I argue that choice of tune-type in this interactional context is related to particular lexical selections and that pitch alignment is related to interactional structure and composition of the turn.


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