But-prefacing for Refocusing in Public Questioning and Answering

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Ann Tai Choe
Elizabeth Reddington


In this paper, we focus on a special use of but in interactions in which those doing the questioning and answering are accountable for producing talk that is relevant to a third party—an overhearing audience. Specifically, we aim to show how participants leverage the contrastive power of but in turn-initial position to refocus following a deviation from the main course of action.

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