Chapter in:OKAY across Languages: Toward a comparative approach to its use in talk-in-interaction
Edited by Emma Betz, Arnulf Deppermann, Lorenza Mondada and Marja-Leena Sorjonen
[Studies in Language and Social Interaction 34] 2021
► pp. 56–92
OKAY in responding and claiming understanding
OKAY originates from English, but it is increasingly used across languages. This chapter presents data from 13 languages, illustrating the spectrum of possible uses of OKAY in responding and claiming understanding in contexts of informings. Drawing on a wide range of interaction types from both informal and institutional contexts, including those crucially involving embodied practices, we show how OKAY can be used to (i) claim sufficient understanding, (ii) mark understanding of the prior informing as preliminary or not complete, and (iii) index discrepancy of expectation.
Keywords: informing, second position, third position, closing, understanding, intersubjectivity, newsmark, continuer, (discrepancy of) expectation, prosody