MarguttiTraversoPugliese2016

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MarguttiTraversoPugliese2016
BibType ARTICLE
Key Margutti-Traverso-Pugliese2016
Author(s) Piera Margutti, Véronique Traverso, Rosa Pugliese
Title I'm Sorry “About That”: Apologies, Indexicals, and (Unnamed) Offenses
Editor(s)
Tag(s) EMCA, Apologies
Publisher
Year 2016
Language
City
Month
Journal Discourse Processes
Volume 53
Number 1-2
Pages 63-82
URL
DOI 10.1080/0163853X.2015.1056693
ISBN
Organization
Institution
School
Type
Edition
Series
Howpublished
Book title
Chapter

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Abstract

We investigate an apology format, “I’m sorry about it/that,” where indexical terms (pronouns) refer to the offense rather than naming it. We identified two subsets in our collection of indexical apologies. In one, indexicals are subsequent either to the offense formulation or to an apology-relevant event; in the second, indexicals are used without any prior named offense. We found these two uses are associated to distinct contextual features. In the first set, apologizers also initiate the course of action, making relevant the apology; in the second, would-be apologizers find themselves at fault during/because of the call and apologize in response to a course of action initiated by the virtual offended person. Here indexicals draw their meaning from prior talk, serving speakers’ interactional needs, when apologizing is problematic. More specifically, speakers manage to apologize without specifying the offense, often rejecting their responsibility for the virtual or actual offense.

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