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What is a preface?

 

Definition
 

A preface is an audible device, such as one of the following, used within a turn to put off a dispreferred response:

 
  • Items like well
  • Token agreement
  • Indications of appreciation, apology, or qualification
  • Self-repair
Examples (English)
 
  • There are prefaces of token agreement, appreciation, self-repair, and so forth in the following sentence:

  • Um, yes, thanks, but you--I mean, I’ll just do it myself.
  • Generic
      A preface is a kind of
     
    Source
     

    Levinson 1983 334–336


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