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The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society cover
The Yearbook of the Estonian Mother Tongue Society

Andriela Rääbis

Offers in everyday telephone conversations

This study discusses the use of different offer formats in Estonian everyday telephone conversations, using the methodology of interactional linguistics and concepts of conversation analysis.

The data come from the Corpus of Spoken Estonian of the University of Tartu, which comprises 165 everyday telephone conversations. There are 41 offers in the collection.

Offers are produced with different grammatical formats in Estonian:

     declaratives (oh ma saadan sulle ühe väga=ea ret`septi. ‘I’ll send you a very good recipe.’);

     modalized declaratives (m:a=võin `elistada ja `küsida. ‘I can call and ask.’);

     existential clauses (ja=sis=mul=on=ta `nimi ja telefoninumber täitsa `olemas. ‘And I have his name and phone number.’);

     conditional + main clause constructions (ma võin sulle selle ühe `riiuli anda kui sa tahad ‘I can give you the shelf if you want.’);

     division-of-labor constructions (sa pead mulle oma `graafiku andma sis ma akkan sulle `elistama iga omiku. ‘You must give me your schedule then I’ll call you every morning.’);

     interrogatives (sa aput `kurki ka `tahad=või. ‘Do you want some pickled cucumbers?’);

     imperatives (used as parts of division-of-labor constructions) (`kirjuta `rohud `ülesse, võipolla siis ku=ma ükskord `polikasse lähen, ee järsku see Kertu `annab ilma retseptita kah. ‘Write down the medicines, maybe if I go to the polyclinic someday, maybe Kertu will give them without a prescription.’).

The analysis shows how the different syntactic constructions used to make offers are related to the interactional situation and the sequential placement of the offer, deontic status and responsibilities of interactants, distribution of benefits and/or costs.


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