Aarhus University Seal


Så (change of topic-marker)

Words like and (roughly translates to ’well’ and ’so’) and constructions like nå men can function as markers one uses to change the conversation topic. Such a marker can therefore be used to show that the speaker wishes the current topic of the conversation to end and return to or introduce a new topic.

The excerpt below illustrates this use of . The excerpt originates from a recording of a band that is practicing in their studio for a concert. Dennis is currently adjusting some sounds on a computer while Nicolai and Lars are joking with each other and are playing randomly on their instruments in the lines 12-16.

AULing | Øvelokale | 12

01   N:     så kan man sige JA
            'then one can say YES'
02   N:     men ja ka føle noget comp[uter >det] ka du ikk<
            'but yes can feel something computer you can't do
03   L:                              [ja mmm   ]
                                      'yes mm'
04   L:     JA forberedt ø:h forbered alt mit altså,=
            'YES prepared uh prepare all of mine, well'
05   L:     =HVA fanden er det med je:r,
            'WHAT the hell is with you guys'
06          ((Q and J starts playing for 3.9 seconds))
07   D:     S::Å
08          (0.9)
09   D:     SKA vi køre↑
            'SHALL we go'
10          (0.7)
11   D:     en tur
            '[for] a ride'
12   L:     jaer=
13   M:     jaer

With S::Å in line 7, Dennis announces a wish to change the topic. The others stop playing and a break follows which lasts 0.9 seconds. Now D introduces a new topic in lines 09-11 which the others pick up on in lines 12-13.

Sources and further reading

Kragelund & Mikkelsen (2010) show in their Bachelor thesis how musicians in a rehearsal room switches between everyday talk and institutional talk.

Related entries

Forms > Word Classes > Interjections and particles

Functions > Actions > Initiation and completion of activities > Change of activity