Adjacency Pairs

Y12 Eng Lang started looking at conversation analysis today. Y12 Combined will be there soon, and Y13 should already know this stuff.

Here’s the exercise on adjacency pairs from today. (Thanks to Loren on the EnglishLanguageList for the presentation I’ve been nicking this stuff from) each of the utterances given is the first part of an adjacency pair. You should:

  1. Give at least one example of a likely second part (in other words a response to the first utterance)
  2. Give a functional label to each utterance (ie. what the utterance is doing; what speech act it is performing)

Here’s the example we looked at, developed a little further:

A: Your tea is ready (summons)
B: OK (acknowledgment of summons )


A: Your tea is ready (summons)
B: Coming (acceptance of summons)


A: Your tea is ready (summons)
B: I’m not hungry (refusal of summons)

Now, you should do the same thing with the following utterances:

  1. I heard it might snow.
  2. Hello there.
  3. Are you coming later?

For extra brownie points, you can include some examples of your own, perhaps drawn from the language you hear around you.

You can email your answers to me at ajheald@ Any questions? Post them in a comment.

This entry was posted in ENB1 & NA3M - Speech. Bookmark the permalink.

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