Affectivity in conversational storytelling. An analysis of displays of anger or indignation in complaint stories
Selting, M. – 2010
This chapter investigates the linguistic resources deployed by recipients of conversational complaint stories to show affiliation (or not) with the teller, affiliation being understood as the display of support and endorsement for a conveyed affective stance, here typically anger and/or indignation. Among the verbal means for affiliative reception are claims of understanding, congruent negative assessments and by-proxy justifications, while factual follow-up questions, minimal responses, and withholdings are shown to be nonaffiliative. As a rule, affiliative verbal devices are accompanied by prosodic matching or upgrading, while nonaffiliative ones have prosodic downgrading. The affiliative import of response cries is shown to depend even more heavily on prosodic matching or upgrading, although the transitoriness of prosody makes verbal reinforcement a desideratum. All in all, the data discussed here present a complex picture of what it takes to come across as affiliative in response.