If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Figures of Speech: Figurative Expressions and the Management of Topic Transition in Conversation

Paul Drew and Elizabeth Holt
Language in Society
Vol. 27, No. 4 (Dec., 1998), pp. 495-522
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4168872
Page Count: 28
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Figures of Speech: Figurative Expressions and the Management of Topic Transition in Conversation
Preview not available

Abstract

In conversation, speakers occasionally use figurative expressions such as "had a good innings," "take with a pinch of salt," or "come to the end of her tether." This article investigates WHERE in conversation such expressions are used, in terms of their sequential distribution. One clear distributional pattern is found: Figurative expressions occur regularly in topic transition sequences, and specifically in the turn where a topic is summarized, thereby initiating the closing of a topic. The paper discusses some of the distinctive features of the topic termination/transition sequences with which figurative closings are associated, particularly participants' orientation to their moving to new topics. Finally, the interactional use of figurative expressions is considered in the context of instances where their use fails to secure topical closure, manifesting some conflict (disaffiliation, etc.) between the participants.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
495
    495
  • Thumbnail: Page 
496
    496
  • Thumbnail: Page 
497
    497
  • Thumbnail: Page 
498
    498
  • Thumbnail: Page 
499
    499
  • Thumbnail: Page 
500
    500
  • Thumbnail: Page 
501
    501
  • Thumbnail: Page 
502
    502
  • Thumbnail: Page 
503
    503
  • Thumbnail: Page 
504
    504
  • Thumbnail: Page 
505
    505
  • Thumbnail: Page 
506
    506
  • Thumbnail: Page 
507
    507
  • Thumbnail: Page 
508
    508
  • Thumbnail: Page 
509
    509
  • Thumbnail: Page 
510
    510
  • Thumbnail: Page 
511
    511
  • Thumbnail: Page 
512
    512
  • Thumbnail: Page 
513
    513
  • Thumbnail: Page 
514
    514
  • Thumbnail: Page 
515
    515
  • Thumbnail: Page 
516
    516
  • Thumbnail: Page 
517
    517
  • Thumbnail: Page 
518
    518
  • Thumbnail: Page 
519
    519
  • Thumbnail: Page 
520
    520
  • Thumbnail: Page 
521
    521
  • Thumbnail: Page 
522
    522