Figurative pivots

The use of figurative expressions in pivotal topic transitions

Elizabeth Holt, Paul Drew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this article, we use conversation analysis in an investigation of figurative expressions in conversation. We begin with the observation that figurative expressions are often followed by disjunctive transitions to a new topic (cf. Drew & Holt, 1988, 1995, 1998). In some instances, however, the figurative expression is used as a pivot to a new matter: The figurative expression forms a bridge connecting to the previous talk but opening up the possibility of moving away from that matter to a different one. In this article, we focus on these pivotal transitions, showing how aspects of the design of figurative expressions (such as the fact that they recurrently act as summaries and assessments of the previous detailing) make them appropriate devices for moving away from the matter at hand while at the same time enabling other matters to be introduced. Analysis of instances of these stepwise (rather than disjunctive) topic transitions raises issues concerning common difficulties in identifying topic transitions in interaction and the mechanisms by which stepwise transitions are managed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-61
Number of pages27
JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Volume38
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Fingerprint

conversation analysis
conversation
Hand
Equipment and Supplies
interaction

Cite this

@article{db550316a91b47f2a8a36972a29a09bc,
title = "Figurative pivots: The use of figurative expressions in pivotal topic transitions",
abstract = "In this article, we use conversation analysis in an investigation of figurative expressions in conversation. We begin with the observation that figurative expressions are often followed by disjunctive transitions to a new topic (cf. Drew & Holt, 1988, 1995, 1998). In some instances, however, the figurative expression is used as a pivot to a new matter: The figurative expression forms a bridge connecting to the previous talk but opening up the possibility of moving away from that matter to a different one. In this article, we focus on these pivotal transitions, showing how aspects of the design of figurative expressions (such as the fact that they recurrently act as summaries and assessments of the previous detailing) make them appropriate devices for moving away from the matter at hand while at the same time enabling other matters to be introduced. Analysis of instances of these stepwise (rather than disjunctive) topic transitions raises issues concerning common difficulties in identifying topic transitions in interaction and the mechanisms by which stepwise transitions are managed.",
author = "Elizabeth Holt and Paul Drew",
year = "2005",
language = "English",
volume = "38",
pages = "35--61",
journal = "Research on Language and Social Interaction",
issn = "0835-1813",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "1",

}

Figurative pivots : The use of figurative expressions in pivotal topic transitions. / Holt, Elizabeth; Drew, Paul.

In: Research on Language and Social Interaction, Vol. 38, No. 1, 2005, p. 35-61.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Figurative pivots

T2 - The use of figurative expressions in pivotal topic transitions

AU - Holt, Elizabeth

AU - Drew, Paul

PY - 2005

Y1 - 2005

N2 - In this article, we use conversation analysis in an investigation of figurative expressions in conversation. We begin with the observation that figurative expressions are often followed by disjunctive transitions to a new topic (cf. Drew & Holt, 1988, 1995, 1998). In some instances, however, the figurative expression is used as a pivot to a new matter: The figurative expression forms a bridge connecting to the previous talk but opening up the possibility of moving away from that matter to a different one. In this article, we focus on these pivotal transitions, showing how aspects of the design of figurative expressions (such as the fact that they recurrently act as summaries and assessments of the previous detailing) make them appropriate devices for moving away from the matter at hand while at the same time enabling other matters to be introduced. Analysis of instances of these stepwise (rather than disjunctive) topic transitions raises issues concerning common difficulties in identifying topic transitions in interaction and the mechanisms by which stepwise transitions are managed.

AB - In this article, we use conversation analysis in an investigation of figurative expressions in conversation. We begin with the observation that figurative expressions are often followed by disjunctive transitions to a new topic (cf. Drew & Holt, 1988, 1995, 1998). In some instances, however, the figurative expression is used as a pivot to a new matter: The figurative expression forms a bridge connecting to the previous talk but opening up the possibility of moving away from that matter to a different one. In this article, we focus on these pivotal transitions, showing how aspects of the design of figurative expressions (such as the fact that they recurrently act as summaries and assessments of the previous detailing) make them appropriate devices for moving away from the matter at hand while at the same time enabling other matters to be introduced. Analysis of instances of these stepwise (rather than disjunctive) topic transitions raises issues concerning common difficulties in identifying topic transitions in interaction and the mechanisms by which stepwise transitions are managed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=16244379193&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 38

SP - 35

EP - 61

JO - Research on Language and Social Interaction

JF - Research on Language and Social Interaction

SN - 0835-1813

IS - 1

ER -