Cecilia E. Ford explores the question: what work do adverbial clauses do in conversational interaction? Her analysis of this predominating conjunction strategy in English conversation is based on the assumption that grammars reflect recurrent patterns of situated language use, and that a primary site for language is in spontaneous talk. She considers the interactional as well as the informational work of talk and shows how conversationalists use grammar to coordinate their joint language production. The management of the complexities of the sequential development of a conversation, and the social roles of conversational participants, have been extensively examined within the sociological approach of Conversation Analysis. Dr Ford uses Conversation Analysis as a framework for the interpretation of interclausal relations in her database of American English conversations. Her book contributes to a growing body of research on grammar in discourse, which has until recently remained largely focused on monologic rather than dialogic functions of language.
1. Introduction; 2. Overview of the conversational corpus; 3. Initial adverbial clauses; 4. Final versus initial adverbial clauses in continuous intonation; 5. Final adverbial clauses after ending intonation; 6. Comparison of clause types and apparent deviations from the general patterns; 7. Conclusion.