The concept of ‘cut-offs’ almost exclusively been dealt with as a form of repair (Jaspersen 1998, Schegloff 1977) where we find ‘a compression or foreshortening of words (or syllables) in ongoing talk’ in order to attend to a trouble source (Local &; Walker. 2004. 1394). What the literature lacks, however, is an observation of such forms that do not attempt to’ repair’ any notion of linguistic trouble. Such instances of these ‘cut-offs’ are evident in the language, and also appear to share common contextual and sequential properties.
When we claim that something is an instance of repair we mean that speakers are adhering to ‘problems in speaking, hearing and understanding’ within the ...view middle of the document...
A fairly explicit example of non-repair cut-offs is where the speaker halts the progressivity of their speech, most often mid-word, to ask or observe the hearer’s availability with regards to the conversation:
1) NB. VII. Power Tools
Edn: I [know en y[er do] in real good ar[ntche.]
Mar: [.t.hhh [E : n] [I : ' ]m jis:so delighted I
cn do it E[dna cz] if:I didn'do it we'd haft[uh hire it] do:ne,
Edn: [.hhhhh] [Wih y'know] 3:00
Edn: i-yihknow it's funny uh:: uh Bud played et San Mar-av yih
Mar: =Su:[:re.] ˚Mm h m,]
Edn: [I'm ] not g'nna] take [too lon]g. [.hhhhh]
Mar: [.hhhhhh] No u[m wait] 'n on the
ulectrician 'e hasn' been here e-all en .hhh he w'spoze t'be
here et ei:ght uh'clock this ˚mornin[g
Edn: [Oh: god.I u:I k- I give
uh- you know we gotta ch- we've gotta cra:ck in ar: beautiful
new basin I to:ld [juh,]
Mar: =I kno::[w,
Edn: [(Bill) j'st gotta come'n putta new one the l-guy:'s
gotta come en check it'n see::'v iv it's authennic thet it
cra::cked'n all this bit yihknow,=
Edn: .hhh B't anyway we played golf et San or Bud played et San
Ma:rcus so I went down with'im yihknow that's back'v Ensk- 3:30
Edna starts-up a new topic; prefacing the story with ‘yihknow it’s funny uh::’ followed by the starting contextual line of the story ‘Bud played at San Mar-‘. It is within the nucleus of this the first syllable of ‘Marcus’ that she abruptly cuts-off to ask Emma’s availability and whether she ‘has a minute’.
The topic change exampled is particularly overt; its formation created by a very clear story preface which as a result acts as a signal for Edna to examine and observe the position and status of her hearer. The topic change signals an appropriate time to check the availability status of the hearer, not just for the duration of the story, but also for the duration of the entire conversation. This overt story prefacing is the first clear topic shift in the conversation; and thus the first signal, or appropriate point for Edna (the caller) to actually ask her listener whether she is free to talk. Asking for the availability of the person you have called most typically is found in the opening stages of conversation (include Sacks quote /example here) However this particular conversation opening lacked such typical conversation-opening conventions:
Edn: Hello Margy?
Edn: [.hhhh We do pai:::nting, a:nti[qui::ng,=
Mar: =I(h)s tha:t right.=
Edn: =Ehhhh[hhhhhhhh[#hh]#hh (1)
Despite the conventional interchange of ‘hellos’ in lines 1 and 2, and confirmation of speaker in 3, Edna goes directly into a joke that Margy responds to and immedietly plays along with as a result of...