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ERIC Number: EJ1088396
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
I'm Sorry "About That": Apologies, Indexicals, and (Unnamed) Offenses
Margutti, Piera; Traverso, Véronique; Pugliese, Rosa
Discourse Processes: A multidisciplinary journal, v53 n1-2 p63-82 2016
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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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A