Mothers and Sisters

Nancy Boblett

Abstract


MCA focuses on central categories in talk-in-interaction. It involves enumerating the activities, attributes, and inferences (category-bound predicates) associated with a category, and, based on the category and its category-bound predicates, makes a connection with a social action. In this short paper, I will focus on the categories of ‘mother’ and ‘sister’ and the standardized relational pairs (SRPs) ‘mother-child’ (in this case, a young adult child) and ‘older sister-younger sister.’ I will now turn to a two-part excerpt which exemplifies what Stokoe (2012) calls “going categorical,” a term used when interlocutors explicitly name a category and, in some cases, its attributes. In the excerpt below, two categories are named: 1) ‘mother’ (also called ‘mom’); and 2) ‘older sister,’ a sub-category of ‘sister.’ Also, two attributes (obligations/rights) of ‘mother’ are named: 1) ‘caregiver,’ the person who does/takes care of everything for others; and 2) ‘order giver,’ the person who orders someone under her care to do something.


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