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1 Observations about Condolences in Conversation Soc. 535 Fall 2005 Doug Maynard.

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1 1 Observations about Condolences in Conversation Soc. 535 Fall 2005 Doug Maynard

2 2 The Initiation of an Inquiry Carleigh was eight weeks old when we received the call that a donor was available. We were in Halifax within two days. Dr. Seamone did her transplant and Dr. Nicolela put a shunt in to manage her glaucoma. The surgery went well and we were given a 70% chance for success. They told us this is very rare in babies, and it was just something that happened without a reason. After the surgery we had to care for her eye by patching her good eye to force her to start using the eye with the transplant, and daily medications to prevent rejection; this continues to this day. Carleigh has more vision than the doctors ever thought possible. With the aid of glasses, she looks like a normal three year old that wears glasses too. We make regular visits to Halifax to see her doctors and three years later everything is still going excellent. Diagnosis: Peter’s Anomaly and Glaucoma Solution: Cornea transplant

3 3 The Initiation of an Inquiry Requests for Tissue Donation Extract (1)

4 4 A Condolence Sequence 1.Condolence offering I’m sorry t’hear about your father by the way... **** 2. Condolence response That’s right. He hasn’t been very well [agreement +account] **** [I didn’t pass my driving test] Oh that’s a pity... Commisera- tions, that’s sad, a real shame **** ‘Tis isn’t it. [agreement] **** [We lost all seven puppies] Oh I’m sorry to hear that **** No, the last one died [account] **** We just heard about poor EllenYes maddening isn’t it [agreement +second assessment]

5 5 “Small Parts” of Conversational Interaction Now, what I’m going to be doing is taking small parts of a thing and building out from them, because small parts can be identified and worked on without regard to the larger thing they’re part of. And they can work in a variety of larger parts than the one they happen to be working in.... (Sacks, Fall 1965, Lecture 5. Vol I: page 159)

6 6 Components of Condolences Extract (2) commiserative position statement reference to news telling reference to the told topic disjunct marker epistemic display I’m sorry t’hear about your father by the way Gordon tol’ me...

7 7 The Condolence Sequence Extract (2) 1.Condolence offering (“I’m sorry t’hear about your father by the way. Gordon tol’ me about him.”) 2.Agreement/account (“That’s ri-/hasn’t been well, he’s better...”).

8 8 Components of Condolences Extract (3) 30Gor:.kl  Ah-:-:-:-:.h 31(.) 32( ):.k 33(.) 34 Gor: 0h that's a pity (.) wz it today. 35(0.5) 36 Sus:No it wz yesterday. 37(0.9) 38( ):.k --sympathy marker (“Ah-:-:-:-:.h”) --hesitation --change of state (“oh”)= reference to news telling --tie-marker (“that’s”) = reference to the told --commiserative assessment (“a pity”) --orientation to timing (“wz it today”): tag question

9 9 Components of Condolences Extract (3) 39 Sus: ( [ feel)]sorry for myself= 40Gor: [Commiserations.] 41Sus:=yesterday so that I might do tonight. 42(0.5) 43Sus:°I[( ) 44Gor: [hh-hh-hh.klk I see:. 45(0.4) 46 Gor:.hh.t.hhhhh hEh:m.mp (0.7) That's 47 really sa  :d. That's a real shame 48(0.3) 49Sus:Tis[isn’it.] 50Gor: [.t.k ].t.h 51(0.2) 52Gor:Yea:[h --commiserative offering (sequentially deleted) --tie-marker (“that’s”) = reference to the told --commiserative assessment(s): really sad, real shame

10 10 Components of Response Extract (3) 39 Sus: ( [ feel)]sorry for myself= 40Gor: [Commiserations.] 41Sus:=yesterday so that I might do tonight. 42(0.5) 43Sus:°I[( ) 44Gor: [hh-hh-hh.klk I see:. 45(0.4) 46 Gor:.hh.t.hhhhh hEh:m.mp (0.7) That's 47 really sa  :d. That's a real shame 48(0.3) 49Sus:Tis[isn’it.] 50Gor: [.t.k ].t.h 51(0.2) 52Gor:Yea:[h --agreement (Tis) --tag question (isn’it) --confirmation by condolence offerer (Yea:h)

11 11 The Condolence Sequence Extract (3) Summative 1.Condolence offerings --commiserative assessments (pity, sad, shame) 2.Acceptance=agreement asking for confirmation (Tis isn’it, line 49) 3. Confirmation as “sequence finalizer” (Yea:h, line 52)


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