Antaki2015

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Antaki2015
BibType ARTICLE
Key Antaki2015
Author(s) Charles Antaki, Alexandra Kent
Title Offering alternatives as a way of issuing directives to children: Putting the worse option last
Editor(s)
Tag(s) EMCA, Directives, Children, Alternatives, Conditional connectives, Threats, Warnings
Publisher
Year 2015
Language
City
Month
Journal Journal of Pragmatics
Volume 78
Number 0
Pages 25 - 38
URL Link
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2015.01.004
ISBN
Organization
Institution
School
Type
Edition
Series
Howpublished
Book title
Chapter

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Abstract

In a corpus of c. 250 h of recorded interactions between young children and adults in USA and UK households, we found that children could be directed to change their course of action by three syntactic formats that offered alternatives: an imperative, or a modal declarative, plus a consequential alternative to non-compliance (e.g. come down at once or I shall send you straight to bed; you’ve got to stand here with it or it goes back in the cupboard), or an interrogative requiring a preference (e.g. do you want to put them neatly in the corner for mummy please or do you wanna go to bed). Formatted syntactically as or-alternatives, these can perform the actions both of warning and threatening. But they make a ‘bad’ course of action contiguous to the child's turn. We argue that adults choose this format because the interactional preference for contiguity makes the negative alternative the more salient one. This implies that adults attribute to children the ability to appreciate the flouting of preference organisation for deontic effect.

Notes

Epistemics and Deontics in Conversational Directives