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Place reference in Kula conversation

Nicholas Williams
Published Online: 2017-12-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0028


Place reference is pervasive in talk-in-interaction but remains less well understood than reference to persons. This paper explores place reference in Kula, an endangered non-Austronesian language of the Timor-Alor-Pantar family in southeastern Indonesia. Using a Conversation Analytic approach, it provides a description of both verbal and nonverbal resources for achieving successful reference to place in Kula. The paper also contributes to the cross-linguistic study of reference in conversation. The organization of practices for place reference in interaction in Kula is suggested to conform to more generic organizational principles, e.g. preferences for minimization and recognition, and fitting the formulation to the task-at-hand, while also reflecting properties specific to Kula, e.g. the use of elevationals in formulations of place reference.

Keywords: place reference; repair; elevationals; pointing; conversation analysis; Alor-Pantar languages


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About the article

Received: 2017-03-09

Accepted: 2017-11-15

Published Online: 2017-12-14

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 554–581, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0028.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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