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Emphatic speech style : with special focus on the prosodic signalling of heightened emotive involvement in conservation
Kurzfassung auf EnglischAfter a review of previous work on the prosody of emotional involvement, data extracts from natural conversations are analyzed in order to argue for the constitution of an 'emphatic (speech) style', which linguistic devices are used to signal heightened emotive involvement. Participants use prosodic cues, in co-occurrence with syntactic and lexical cues, to contextualize turn-constructional units as 'emphatic'. Only realizations of prosodic categories that are marked in relation to surrounding uses of these categories have the power to contextualize units as displaying 'more-than-normal involvement'. In the appropriate context, and in cooccurrence with syntactic and lexical cues and sequential position, the context-sensitive interpretation
of this involvement is 'emphasis'. Prosodic marking is used in addition to various unmarked cues that signal and constitute different activity types in conversation. Emphatic style highlights and reinforms particular conversational activities, and makes certain types of recipient responses locally relevant. In particular, switches from non-emphatic to emphatic style are used to contextualize 'peaks of involvement' or 'climaxes' in story-telling. These are
shown in the paper to be 'staged' by speakers and treated by recipients as marked activities calling for displays of alignment with respect to the matter at hand. Signals of emphasis are deployable as techniques for locally organizing demonstrations of shared understanding and participant reciprocity in conversational interaction.
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