Browsing by Subject "Action formation"

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  • Pekarek Doehler, Simona; Maschler, Yael; Keevallik, Leelo; Lindström, Jan (John Benjamins, 2020)
    Studies in Language and Social Interaction
    The past two decades have witnessed a sea-change in our understanding of language. Grammar is no longer dominantly seen from a “bird’s eye view” (cf. Hopper, 2011) as an autonomously structured inventory of items and abstract combination rules, but is increasingly understood as a usage-based, temporal, and ever-adaptive resource for people’s acting in the social world (Hopper, 1987, 2011; Hakulinen, 2001; Thompson, 2002; Tomasello, 2003; Ellis & Larsen Freeman, 2006; Linell, 2009; Auer, 2009; Bybee, 2010; Fox & Thompson, 2010). The present collection of original chapters taps into this understanding of language and explores the ways by which patterns of complex syntax – that is, syntactic structures beyond a simple clause – relate to the local contingencies of action formation in social interaction, and how they are tied to participants’ nonverbal (prosodic and/or embodied) conduct. The collection investigates both emergent and emerging aspects of grammar (see the discussions in Hopper, 2011 and Auer & Pfänder, 2011a): it tracks on-line emergent clause-combining patterns as they are ‘patched together’ on the fly in response to local interactional contingencies (such as lack of recipient response); it also investigates emerging grammatical patterns, i.e., patterns that routinize (or: sediment) in the grammar as interactional resources, for instance for the purpose of projecting what comes next. We thus focus both on the process of the structuring of patterns of language use in real time and on the results of repeated language use in and for social interaction over time, in an attempt to shed light on two facets of grammar as a highly adaptive resource for interaction. For the past five decades, scholars working on the social dynamics of conversation have seen conversationalists’ use of language as one of the central foci of analysis. This has resulted in a collaboration with linguists towards “a syntaxfor-conversation”, a concept famously coined by Schegloff (1979). However, the path towards a micro-socially attuned grammar, which puts the sequential organization of conversational talk in the foreground, has not been straightforward; it underwent significant development only rather recently, since the turn of the 21st century, not least through Schegloff’s visionary paper on the grammar of turn organization (1996) and the advent of the sub-discipline of interactional linguistics (Selting & Couper-Kuhlen, 2001; Couper-Kuhlen & Selting, 2018; going back to Ochs, Schegloff & Thompson, 1996). It is in this tradition of interactionally sensitive research on language structure and the organization of social actions that we position ourselves, setting a special focus on the centerpiece of traditional grammatical inquiry, namely, syntax, which we scrutinize in light of its temporal structuring within situated social interaction.
  • Fox, Barbara A.; Heinemann, Trine (2017)
    In previous interactional studies of formats for utterances doing requests, attention has been given to the initial verb (such as can/could or wonder) and possibly the subject (especially I vs you). The current study examines the main types of grammatical variation found in what we call the " x component," that is the segment after the initial verb and subject. We examine two types of requests: those with can you x and those with wonder x, and we find that variations in the x component in these requests are associated with variations in the unfolding development of the request sequences. We thus suggest that the x component is crucial to the interactional work accomplished by the requesting utterance.