Updating unexpected moves


  • Xuetong Yuan




This paper investigates the behaviours of the particle 'ne' in the sentence-final position along with its interactions with different clause types in Mandarin. I present novel data showing that 'ne' marks an 'unexpected move' in both declaratives and interrogatives. In declaratives the speaker believes that the content of the prejacent of 'ne' is not among what the addressee has expected in future discourse. In questions 'ne' marks that the current move is not in the standard flow of a conversation. I propose that 'ne' signals that the speaker believes that the current discourse move she makes is not 'optimal' for the addressee: the speaker chooses to use 'ne' when the discourse agents have conflicting beliefs, or the speaker wants to redirect/reset the conversational goals. The current account provides broader coverage of empirical data, and sheds light on the discourse dynamics on non-canonical/uncooperative conversations.




How to Cite

Yuan, X. (2023). Updating unexpected moves. Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung, 27, 748–760. https://doi.org/10.18148/sub/2023.v27.1098