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Indexing that something is sufficient: Interactional functions of ingressive particles in Finnish and Danish

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 August 2021

Jakob Steensig
1Department of Linguistics, Cognitive Science and Cognitive Semiotics, Aarhus University, Jens Chr. Skous Vej 4, DK-8000 Aarhus, Denmark; Email:
Auli Hakulinen
2Helsinki, Finland; Email:
Tine Larsen
3Aarhus, Denmark; Email:
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Sounds spoken on the inbreath have been shown to be common in the world’s languages, and in the Nordic languages ingressive speech seems to be especially frequent. The present study focuses on Finnish and Danish response particles spoken on the inbreath, by examining their uses in everyday talk-in-interaction in corpora of recorded interactions. The particles we examine and their non-ingressive counterparts can perform confirming and acknowledging actions. We analyze the particles as receipts to answers to questions, as responses to questions, as responses to assessments, and as responses to affiliation-seeking utterances. In these positions, the ingressive particles turn out to index that the content of the previous turn was already sufficiently established and, consequently, that there is nothing to add. In cases where an engaged response is called for, the particles are shown to have a disaffiliative potential.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Nordic Association of Linguistics

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