“No” and “net” as response tokens in English and Russian business discourse: In search of a functional equivalence

The literature on English suggests that turn-initial no fulfils a variety of discourse-pragmatic functions beyond its use as a negative response to polar questions. We cannot assume that the same range or distribution of functions is realised by its nearest Russian equivalent, net. Hence, investigating the contrasts and similarities in the nomenclature and distribution of functions of no and net should pose an important research problem for various discourses, and especially for business discourse with its focus on goal-orientation and productive interpersonal relations requiring adequate interlingual interaction. The study examines how no and net occur in two corpora of spoken business/professional discourse in order to establish their functional comparability and reveal the differences in their use. The article draws on data from the Cambridge and Nottingham Spoken Business English Corpus and the Russian National Corpus analysed using a combination of corpus linguistics, conversation analysis and discourse analytical approaches. Study results show some overlap between the functions of the response particles in English and Russian, and some differences. The findings suggest that no/net display a number of functions connected with conversational continuity, topic management, turn-taking and hedging. The distribution and functions of no/net in the English and Russian data are similar, with the Russian data showing a preference for floor-grabbing no-initiated turns. Translation equivalence is not always fully applicable between no and net. A mixed methodology generates results which suggest that fruitful insights can be gained from English and Russian corpus data. The issues of the use of no and нет in English and Russian business discourses can be further investigated using the suggested data and conclusions. © Elena N. Malyuga & Michael McCarthy, 2021.

Российский университет дружбы народов
Номер выпуска
  • 1 Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, 6, Miklukho-Maklaya, Moscow, 117198, Russian Federation
  • 2 University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, United Kingdom
Ключевые слова
Business discourse; Corpus analysis; Discourse marker; Negative particle; Response token; Turn-opener
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Другие записи

Kolysheva O.N.
Вестник Российского университета дружбы народов. Серия: Теория языка. Семиотика. Семантика. Федеральное государственное автономное образовательное учреждение высшего образования Российский университет дружбы народов (РУДН). Том 12. 2021. С. 339-358