“So my position is…”
So-prefaced answers and epistemic authority in British news interviews
This article examines the interactional functions of the so-prefaced answer, when used by interviewees in news and other political discussion broadcasts. Using the methods of conversation analysis, based on a data corpus of recent broadcasts from British mainstream television, the analysis shows that the so-preface functions in a cluster of related ways within the question-answer discourse structure of the political news interview. Specifically, it is used to reset or reframe the prior question from a standpoint of epistemic authority, enabling the interviewee to answer on their terms rather than the interviewer’s.