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ERIC Number: ED525028
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 290
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1095-7998-7
Word Order in Spoken German: Syntactic Right-Expansions as an Interactionally Constructed Phenomenon
Schoenfeldt, Juliane
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
In real time interaction, the ordering of words is one of the resources participants-to-talk rely on in the negotiation of shared meaning. This dissertation investigates the emergence of syntactic right-expansions in spoken German as a systematic resource in the organization of talk-in-interaction. Employing the methodology of conversation analysis, this study uncovers that right-expansions regularly emerge at topical, sequential and conversational boundaries. They facilitate a smooth transition between interactional sequences and secure intersubjectivity during sequential transitions. In first pair part topic initiations, in topic-proffers and in topic-nominations, elements uttered in syntactic expansion regularly frame a semantically underspecified TCU. While the initial TCU promotes a new action trajectory, such as a new topical sequence, a syntactic expansion secures intersubjectivity as a secondary action. One practice regularly observable in expanded topic initiating turns is delayed reference negotiation. In conversational openings, right-expansions serve as a resource in the establishment of a shared trajectory for the ensuing interaction, particularly in those environments in which the transition between routinized initial exchanges and the first topic introduction does not run smoothly. Here, a new topical focus is frequently placed in syntactic expansion to facilitate the transition from the opening into a topical sequence. In conversational closings, speakers employ right-expansions both to move into, and to move out of closing. Post-positioned temporal markers typically mark the sequential boundary between the last topical sequence and those sequences that have the completion of the interaction as their central activity. In an opposing move, speakers regularly use right-expansions to re-open topical talk after closing has been made relevant. Here, the expansion is action-indicative, signaling to the recipient that the expanded turn is designed to move into an additional topical sequence. Taking into account the characteristics of directionality and projection inherent to language unfolding incrementally in real time interaction, this study reveals that right-expansions emerge as a systematic syntactically structured resource in real-time interaction. Though they may appear as "deviant" grammatical structures when judged solely on the basis of written language, right-expansions are shown to emerge as a positionally sensitive response to local interactional demands in spoken discourse. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A