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Motivations and mechanisms for the development of the reactive what-x construction in spoken dialogue

Pöldvere, Nele LU and Paradis, Carita LU (2019) In Journal of Pragmatics 143. p.65-84
Abstract
With data from two comparable corpora of spoken British English, the London-Lund Corpus and the new London-Lund Corpus 2, this study tracks the development of the reactive what-x construction half a century back in time. The study has two goals: (i) to describe the uses of the construction over time and (ii) to establish the motivations and mechanisms related to its development in spoken dialogue. The corpus data show that the reactive what-x construction was already in use in the mid-20th century but has gained ground since then. By combining Invited Inferencing Theory with focus on speaker-initiated decisions in interaction and a Cognitive Semantic approach to meaning shift and change from a Construction Grammar... (More)
With data from two comparable corpora of spoken British English, the London-Lund Corpus and the new London-Lund Corpus 2, this study tracks the development of the reactive what-x construction half a century back in time. The study has two goals: (i) to describe the uses of the construction over time and (ii) to establish the motivations and mechanisms related to its development in spoken dialogue. The corpus data show that the reactive what-x construction was already in use in the mid-20th century but has gained ground since then. By combining Invited Inferencing Theory with focus on speaker-initiated decisions in interaction and a Cognitive Semantic approach to meaning shift and change from a Construction Grammar perspective, we demonstrate that the development of a construction has to be explained with reference to both the social motivations in spoken conversational discourse and the cognitive processes that operate at the conceptual level. The development of the reactive what-x construction, which is simultaneously used to express reaction and make a request, was motivated by the interaction of discourse-structuring and turn-taking inferences at the functional level that proceeded through metonymic micro-adjustments of the conceptual structure of the construction itself. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
conversation, London-Lund Corpora, Invited Inferencing Theory, metonymization, Cognitive Semantics, Diachronic Construction Grammar
in
Journal of Pragmatics
volume
143
pages
65 - 84
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85062324344
ISSN
0378-2166
DOI
10.1016/j.pragma.2019.02.008
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
97ba8d22-7f44-4244-b956-9408397c0faf
date added to LUP
2019-02-18 09:41:09
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:32:41
@article{97ba8d22-7f44-4244-b956-9408397c0faf,
  abstract     = {With data from two comparable corpora of spoken British English, the London-Lund Corpus and the new London-Lund Corpus 2, this study tracks the development of the reactive <i>what-x</i> construction half a century back in time. The study has two goals: (i) to describe the uses of the construction over time and (ii) to establish the motivations and mechanisms related to its development in spoken dialogue. The corpus data show that the reactive <i>what-x</i> construction was already in use in the mid-20th century but has gained ground since then. By combining Invited Inferencing Theory with focus on speaker-initiated decisions in interaction and a Cognitive Semantic approach to meaning shift and change from a Construction Grammar perspective, we demonstrate that the development of a construction has to be explained with reference to both the social motivations in spoken conversational discourse and the cognitive processes that operate at the conceptual level. The development of the reactive <i>what-x</i> construction, which is simultaneously used to express reaction and make a request, was motivated by the interaction of discourse-structuring and turn-taking inferences at the functional level that proceeded through metonymic micro-adjustments of the conceptual structure of the construction itself.},
  author       = {Pöldvere, Nele and Paradis, Carita},
  issn         = {0378-2166},
  keyword      = {conversation,London-Lund Corpora,Invited Inferencing Theory,metonymization,Cognitive Semantics,Diachronic Construction Grammar},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {65--84},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Journal of Pragmatics},
  title        = {Motivations and mechanisms for the development of the reactive <i>what-x</i> construction in spoken dialogue},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2019.02.008},
  volume       = {143},
  year         = {2019},
}