The conversation frame in thought, language, and discourse
Esther Pascual | University of Groningen
Language is intimately related to interaction. The question arises: Is the structure of interaction somehow mirrored in language structure and use? This book suggests a positive answer to this question by examining the ubiquitous phenomenon of fictive interaction, in which non-genuine conversational turns appear in discourse, even within clauses, phrases, and lexical items (e.g. “Not happy? Money back! guarantee”). The book is based on a collection of hundreds of examples of fictive interaction at all grammatical levels from a wide variety of spoken, written, and signed languages, and from many different discourse genres. Special attention is devoted to the strategic use of fictive interaction in legal argumentation, with a focus on high-profile criminal trials. Both trial lawyers and lay jurors often present material evidence or murder victims as speaking, and express emotions and intentions in conversational terms. The book thus establishes the role of the conversational turn—rather than the sentence—as the basic unit of language, and the role of conversation as a frame that structures cognition, discourse, and grammar.
[Human Cognitive Processing, 47] 2014. xiv, 243 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Tables and figures | pp. xi–xii
Acknowledgements | pp. xiii–xiv
Chapter 1. Introduction: Language, interaction, and cognition | pp. 1–26
Chapter 2. Fictive interaction: The conversation frame in discourse and grammar | pp. 29–58
Chapter 3. Direct speech compounds: On the dialogue-morphology interface | pp. 59–82
Chapter 4. From talk-in-interaction to grammar: A cross-linguistic study of fictive interaction | pp. 83–112
Chapter 5. It’s like, why fictive interaction? Multifunctional direct speech in a jury deliberation | pp. 115–140
Chapter 6. The trial as fictive trialogue: Fictive interaction imagery in legal argumentation | pp. 141–168
Chapter 7. Triadic questions in court: Searching for answers about legal “truth” | pp. 169–188
Chapter 8. Concluding remarks | pp. 189–196
References | pp. 197–218
Appendix 1: Sources for examples in Parts I and II | pp. 219–228
Appendix 2: Codes for ethnographic data in Part II | pp. 229–230
Appendix 3: Abbreviations for interlinear glosses | pp. 231–232
Author index | pp. 233–236
Language index | pp. 237–238
Subject index | pp. 239–244
“In this incisive and highly readable study, Pascual makes a cogent and thorough case for the central status of the conversation frame in human understanding. She explores not only "the conversational turn" as the basic unit of language, but also the ways in which imaginative mental webs can create new, emergent meaning—fictive interactions, especially fictive conversations. She shows how fictive conversations populate our lives.”
Mark Turner, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio
“There's nothing fictive about Fictive Interaction. The book is factual and logical. It walks the reader down a path of well-reasoned explanations for how language works, across a wide range of interactive domains, including legal argumentation. Innovative and insightful!”
Teenie Matlock, University of California, MercedN
“People talk with each other—that’s what language is for. In this fascinating and deeply researched book Esther Pascual shows that the structures of conversational interaction leave their traces all through the grammars and lexicons of languages. We talk not only to exchange information, but also to create fictive situations in which talk is used to subtly convey intentions, evaluations, and more. Pascual explores linguistic structures of fictive interaction across a wide range of languages and contexts, all the way from the language of everyday life to murder trials, and comparing oral and written languages. In the process she proposes bold hypotheses and lays the groundwork for a linguistics based on the conversational mind, replacing the “sentence” with the “conversational turn.” A rich and important book.”
Dan I. Slobin, University of California, Berkeley
“Esther Pascual’s book is one of the most significant and original contributions to language sciences in recent times. Theoretically, she achieves a profound synthesis of socio-interactional and cognitive approaches to language. Methodologically, she places comparative, crosslinguistic ethnographic analysis of conversational interaction at the heart of the linguistic enterprise. Not only linguists, but psychologists in the dialogical and dialectical tradition stretching back to Bakhtin, Vološinov and Vygotsky, will find rich material and brilliant insights in what is sure to become a classic work.”
Chris Sinha, Hunan University, China, and Phonetics at Lund University, Sweden
“This book, with its well-structured organization, approachable writing style, well-founded argumentation and profound implications, is a particularly timely contribution to Cognitive Linguistics research. Its most outstanding contribution is that it opens up a whole new research line.”
Mingjian Xiang, Zhejiang University, China, in Cognitive Linguistics 2015; 26(4): 709–716
“In sum, Fictive Interaction is a “must-read book.” FI can no longer be written off as a dialectal or marginal phenomenon but rather must be included and integrated in theories of syntax, semantics, and other areas of linguistic inquiry.”
Karen Sullivan, University of Queensland, in Cognitive Semiotics 2015; 8(1): 93–96
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[no author supplied]
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Main BIC Subject
CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis
Main BISAC Subject
LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General