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Can You Answer the Question?
Unformatted Document Text:  21 part (SPP). For example, question-answer is an adjacency pair that is composed of question as FPP and answer as SPP. An adjacency pair can be expanded in three ways: 1) pre-expansion which happens before the FPP; 2) the expansion between the first and the second pair parts; and 3) post-expansion which happens after the SPP. The purpose of having pre-expansion is to ensure that a preferred SPP will be obtained. In lines 01-06 in the excerpt, before the prosecution asks the question, “so why do you think they gave you ¥20, 000?” he admonishes and instructs the defendant to take advantage of the opportunity that the court has provided him and to hold good attitudes by telling the truth in order to obtain a lighter punishment. This “action projection,” to use Schegloff’s (1990) term, is to make sure that the defendant will answer in the expected manner. However, the defendant provides a “dispreferred SPP” nonetheless. This leads to an expansion between the FPP and SPP in lines 08-14 where the presiding judge joins in line 12 to help induce an expected response from the defendant. Drawing no answer from the defendant, the prosecution helps supply an answer in line 15 and asks confirmation from the defendant in line 16. The defendant’s ambiguous reply in lines 17-18 signals the completion of the SPP, upon which more questions are piled in lines 19 and 21, in which the prosecution asks what happened before this case, another amount of money that was involved in the bribery case. His letting go of his own question in line 23 about the other amount of money implies that there is no need to answer it since it has the same answer as he has provided in line 15. That’s also shown from his broaching a new line of questioning in line 23 without waiting for a clear response from the defendant. Following almost the same sequential pattern as from lines 01 to 22, the prosecution supplies answers to his own questions throughout lines 25 and 29, asking the defendant to make confirmations. In this excerpt, the silence of the defendant is participation and demonstrates that the purpose of the questions is not so much to get information, as it is to induce confession from the defendant and to test his honesty. The sequences of talk in the excerpt show that the prosecution believes that he knows everything about the entire process through the way he supplies answers to his own questions. The admission of guilt is the ultimate goal of the questioning. So once the defendant confirms his answer in

Authors: Chang, Yanrong.
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21
part (SPP). For example, question-answer is an adjacency pair that is composed of question as FPP and
answer as SPP.
An adjacency pair can be expanded in three ways: 1) pre-expansion which happens before the
FPP; 2) the expansion between the first and the second pair parts; and 3) post-expansion which happens
after the SPP. The purpose of having pre-expansion is to ensure that a preferred SPP will be obtained. In
lines 01-06 in the excerpt, before the prosecution asks the question, “so why do you think they gave you
¥20, 000?” he admonishes and instructs the defendant to take advantage of the opportunity that the court
has provided him and to hold good attitudes by telling the truth in order to obtain a lighter punishment.
This “action projection,” to use Schegloff’s (1990) term, is to make sure that the defendant will answer in
the expected manner. However, the defendant provides a “dispreferred SPP” nonetheless. This leads to
an expansion between the FPP and SPP in lines 08-14 where the presiding judge joins in line 12 to help
induce an expected response from the defendant. Drawing no answer from the defendant, the prosecution
helps supply an answer in line 15 and asks confirmation from the defendant in line 16. The defendant’s
ambiguous reply in lines 17-18 signals the completion of the SPP, upon which more questions are piled in
lines 19 and 21, in which the prosecution asks what happened before this case, another amount of money
that was involved in the bribery case. His letting go of his own question in line 23 about the other amount
of money implies that there is no need to answer it since it has the same answer as he has provided in line
15. That’s also shown from his broaching a new line of questioning in line 23 without waiting for a clear
response from the defendant. Following almost the same sequential pattern as from lines 01 to 22, the
prosecution supplies answers to his own questions throughout lines 25 and 29, asking the defendant to
make confirmations.
In this excerpt, the silence of the defendant is participation and demonstrates that the purpose of
the questions is not so much to get information, as it is to induce confession from the defendant and to test
his honesty. The sequences of talk in the excerpt show that the prosecution believes that he knows
everything about the entire process through the way he supplies answers to his own questions. The
admission of guilt is the ultimate goal of the questioning. So once the defendant confirms his answer in


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