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Regrading as a conversational practice

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Title:Regrading as a conversational practice
Authors:Bilmes, Jack
Keywords:regrading (upgrading/downgrading)
Date Issued:2018
Citation:Bilmes, J., Regrading as a conversational practice, Journal of Pragmatics (2018), 10.1016/j.pragma.2018.08.020
Abstract:The purpose of this paper is to initiate the topicalization of upgrading and downgrading
(regrading) in conversational interaction; that is, to offer some fundamental considerations
for viewing regrading as an object of study rather than as a taken-for-granted
conversational practice. I begin by describing the conversation analytic conception
and use of regrading and distinguishing three subtypes. I note further that regrading is
a manifestation of scaling, the relationship between the two being reflexive. Regrading,
from an interactional perspective, involves a positioning followed by a repositioning on
a scale, and so is inherently sequential. I discuss the relationship of contrast and
scaling, secondary scales, and certain sequential aspects of regrading. Through the examination
of transcribed segments of talk, I comment on the prevalence of regrading as
a conversational practice, and on scales as constituting, to a large extent, the underlying
structure of talk. I want to claim that (1) Interaction consists, to some considerable
extent, of movements, i.e. regrading, on various scales. (2) Understanding of those
scales guides interpretation, especially implicature and implication. And (3) understanding
word choices as scaling choices is a key to the analysis of how utterances
Rights:CC0 1.0 Universal
Journal:Journal of Pragmatics
Appears in Collections: Jack Bilmes

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