The present paper examines the role of the Spanish discourse particle no for negotiating agreement and disagreement in Spanish-English bilingual conversations from Gibraltar. A sequential analysis of twelve conversational exchanges shows how language choice is an important linguistic resource for negotiating agreement and disagreement in interactions. As a discourse marker no can function as (a) a yes-no request where a speaker seeks information from the hearer or (b) as a device a speaker uses to check information or obtain acquiescence. At a metalingual level of analysis, the use of Spanish as well as the no particle constitute a move for communicating in the metalingual realm of bilingual interactions about the speaker and the hearer. These moves index the actions, meanings, and situations associated with the use of Spanish in Gibraltar. The connection between the discourse functions of no, language choice (i.e., convergence), and the meanings communicated at a metalingual level of the conversation shed light on the complex strategies available to speakers for expressing agreement and disagreement in bilingual talk. © 2000, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.
- bilingual discourse markers
- bilingual interaction