Browsing by Subject "Clause combining"

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  • Niemi, Jarkko (2015)
    This study investigates the Finnish bipartite utterance that consists of a display of an epistemic stance by voi olla ‘(it) may be’ and a span of talk initiated by että ‘that’ following it. It is shown that in a sequence-initiating turn, the voi olla että ‘(it) may be that’ utterance conveys a lack of knowledge of a state of affairs. By contrast, in a responding turn, the voi olla että ‘(it) may be that’ utterance commonly cooperates with the preference displayed by the prior speaker's turn, and the implied lack of knowledge may not be as real as in an initiating turn. Moreover, the study demonstrates that the relative prominence of a bipartite utterance differs according to its sequential position. In an initiating turn, the talk following voi olla is more prominent, which reflects the function of the turn as initiating something new. By contrast, in a responding turn, voi olla gains more prominence than the talk that follows it, because the stance it expresses cooperates with a preference displayed by the co-participant's prior action. The data for this study are drawn from audio and videotaped interactions between friends and relatives, as well as from customer service encounters. The study is informed by the method of conversation analysis.
  • 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.
  • Lindström, Jan; Lindholm, Camilla; Grahn, Inga-Lill; Huhtamäki, Martina (John Benjamins, 2020)
    Studies in language an social interaction
    This chapter investigates the formatting of instructions in physical training with personal trainers or physiotherapists. Instructions occur in multimodal activities where invitations to action, compliances with them, and accounts for them emerge through grammatical, prosodic and embodied resources. We identified a two-part pattern [directive & account] that accomplishes a complex structural and pragmatic unit in trainers’ instructions. The instructions are grammatically formed of consecutive clause combinations in which the directive part is a declarative or an imperative. These combinations emerge in interactive sequences and are a designed, rather than a contingent feature in the making of instructions. Nevertheless, there is variation in their sequential emergence and grammatical and prosodic composition, from tight packages to projected or expanded clause/action combinations.