Anaphora in question-answer sessions in university ELF contexts.
Abstract - Identity chains (Hasan 1984) ˗ strings of co-referential noun phrases ˗ constitute a lesser researched area in the field of ELF, as has the more general area of cohesion (but see Hüttner 2009, Christiansen 2011).
Following on the work on anaphora of such scholars as Reinhart (1983) and Cornish (1999), and on cohesion (e.g. Halliday and Hasan 1976, Halliday 2004), Christiansen (2009a/b, 2011) focuses on the link between text cohesion and discourse coherence. The interactive perspective of discourse (seen as the process of which text is the product: see Widdowson 1984: 100) is especially relevant to an ELF context of spontaneous spoken interaction. As Guido (2008) evidences, different inter-cultural concerns constitute a crucial dimension to the complex multi-code interaction. Consequently, the diverse ways in which speakers from different L1 backgrounds employ anaphors and construct identity chains are key elements in the co-construction of a dialogic text.
In this case study, six extracts of transcripts taken from the VOICE corpus (2011) of conference question and answer sessions set in multicultural contexts are analysed qualitatively. The different ways that participants construct identity chains (e.g. whether they use full forms of various kinds or anaphoric pro-forms) are classified. The analysis focuses on both how individual anaphors are resolved and how relations between anaphors and antecedent triggers are encoded, and how identity chains are constructed and organized individually. The objective is to identify which kinds of noun phrase (various subtypes of full and pro-forms) are used by diverse groups of EFL speakers both in relation to their own contributions and to those of other speakers (with a threefold distinction made between the same turn of the same speaker, a different turn of the same speaker, and a different turn by a different speaker).
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