|Title||Composite social actions: the case of factual declaratives in everyday interaction|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, declaratives, epistemic|
|Journal||Research on Language and Social Interaction|
When taking a turn at talk, a speaker normally accomplishes a sequential action such as a question, answer, complaint, or request. Sometimes, however, a turn at talk may accomplish not a single but a composite action, involving a combination of more than one action. I show that factual declaratives (e.g., “the feed drip has finished”) are recurrently used to implement composite actions consisting of both an informing and a request or, alternatively, a criticism and a request. A key determinant between these is the recipient's epistemic access to what the speaker is describing. Factual declaratives afford a range of possible responses, which can tell us how the composite action has been understood and give us insights into its underlying structure. Evidence for the stacking of composite actions, however, is not always directly available in the response and may need to be pieced together with the help of other linguistic and contextual considerations. Data are in Italian with English translation.