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Making multiple requests in French and Finnish convenience stores

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2016

Lorenza Mondada*
Affiliation:
University of Basel, Switzerland
Marja-Leena Sorjonen
Affiliation:
University of Helsinki, Switzerland
*
Address for correspondence: Lorenza Mondada, Department of Linguistics and Literature/French Studies, University of Basel, Maiengasse 51, Basel 4056, Switzerlandlorenza.mondada@unibas.ch

Abstract

This article systematically explores the sequential contexts for making multiple requests during shop encounters. Based on video recordings in convenience stores in France and Finland, it describes the multimodal practices that buyers and sellers use to treat multiple requests as progressively building a global buying project. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how multiple requests can be packed together, as relatively simple actions achieved simultaneously or successively in embodied and verbal ways either as subsequent contiguous sequences of actions, or as sequences of actions separated by inserted actions. This article also examines how requests are tied together, and how ‘late’ requests are fitted to the last sequential opportunities in the unfolding encounter. This analysis contributes to the study of commercial encounters and the buying process, as well as to the understanding of sequence organization. It likewise contributes to comparative analyses by discussing the similarities and specificities of this activity across cultural contexts and in different time periods. (Requests, shop encounters, social interaction, multimodality, French, Finnish)

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016 

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