|Title||Grammatical conformity in question-answer sequences: The case of meiyou in Mandarin conversation|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Mandarin Chinese, Q-word question, grammatical conformity, meiyou, negative particle, polar question, response|
|Publisher||SAGE Publications Ltd|
This article probes into grammatical conformity in Mandarin by examining meiyou, a multifunctional negative form, in question-answer sequences. Using a conversation analysis approach, it discovers that, as a conforming answer to polar questions, meiyou acquiesces to all the terms and constraints of the question and maximizes the progressivity of the sequence. As a non-conforming response to polar questions, it mitigates the disagreement by avoiding a pointed syntactic negation. Meiyou can also respond to Q-word questions, problematizing the inference incorporated in the question. This study not only contributes to the cross-linguistic research on negative particles in talk-in-interaction but also reveals that grammatical conformity is a crucial dimension in Mandarin response design, providing further confirmation of the link between grammar, action, and sequence organization.