This paper investigates three main formats for reason-for-calling invitations in Italian telephone calls and shows that these invitation formats are designed to include an informing/descriptive component and a requesting component. These two elements are encoded and foregrounded differently in the design of each format, constructing diverse ways to name, refer to or describe the social occasion that recipients are invited to attend and different ways of requesting the invitees to state their commitment to participate. Our findings provide evidence that, by using one of the three formats, speakers are able to tailor the invitation to the different contextual conditions in which they and their recipients may be when the invitation is made, as well as to the circumstances of the social event, with the inviters often displaying caution in extending the invitation. This paper also investigates the types of constraints on the degree of commitment from the invitation recipient that each format entails, offering a contribution to study preference organisation in first actions.
Journal of Pragmatics – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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