What is it about?
Service encounters typically consist of several sub-tasks, as for example in our case, ticket purchases at a theathre box office. The customers may ask about ticket availability and seating alternatives, the staff member may ask about pre-order codes and payment. These task are not simply fulfilled through question-answer sequences - they are most often concluded with a third turn by the sequence initiator. In our study we analyze task-completing turns that are constituted of assessments of the type 'good', 'excellent', 'perfect'.
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Why is it important?
Our study demonstrates the regularity of concluding assessments in task sequences. It also shows that there is variation as to how strong the assessing item is: a low-grade assessment like 'good' or a high-grade assessment like 'super'. Moreover, we show that this variation is patterned. It is of relevance whether the assessment is first in a series or not, the series-concluding assessments tending to be high-grade items. There is also striking variation with varieties of the same language (Swedish): in the data from Finland we find mostly low-grade assessments, whereas high-grade assessments are typical in the data from Sweden. This suggests that there are socio-cultural preferences for this interactional practice.
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This page is a summary of: Task-Completing Assessments in Service Encounters, Research on Language and Social Interaction, April 2019, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/08351813.2019.1581468.
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