Chapter published in:Positioning the Self and Others: Linguistic perspectives
Edited by Kate Beeching, Chiara Ghezzi and Piera Molinelli
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 292] 2018
► pp. 285–305
Positioning the self in talk about group
Linguistic means emphasising veracity used by members of the Georgian Greek community
This paper focuses on the discourse marker chestno govorya ‘honestly speaking’ as a device allowing speakers to create greater closeness between interlocutors and then drawing sharp social boundaries in positioning their own community in relation to others. The study is based on an ethnographically informed conversation analysis of 49 semi-structured interviews with members of Georgia’s Greek community and elucidates the links between the nano level of interaction and larger societal discourses ranging from the communal to the (post-) Soviet imaginary. It is shown how chestno serves firstly as a disclaimer of potentially difficult topics ahead, of risky self-disclosure which fosters intimacy, enabling speakers to establish the recurring boundary between ‘Christians’ and ‘Muslims’ or rehearse stereotypes, established as a child. Methodologically, a corpus search for veracity devices, such as chestno govorya, can help identify sections of discourse where problematic issues relating to the way speakers position themselves in their community are being discussed.
Keywords: Greeks in Georgia, discourse markers, positioning, categorisation, boundary work, conversation analysis
Published online: 17 July 2018
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