The attenuating conditional
Context, appropriateness and interaction
The attenuative reading of the conditional form (condatt) in Italian and French illustrates the multifunctionality of linguistic structures and the necessity of analyzing them in their synergies with relevant contextual parameters. The condatt allows the speaker to allude to the existence of pragmatic prerequisites for his/her utterance without presenting them as taken for granted. An empirical study of spoken data reveals that at least in French this property has specific effects on various levels of interaction: the form expresses negotiability of the speaker’s acts; it preferredly encodes new information and contributes to structure the thematic progression of discourse; it tends to encode initiative and/or dispreferred communicative acts. These results lead us to formulate some hypotheses as to the condatt’s appropriateness with regard to global context. In particular, given that the form signals negotiability and is better compatible with a reduced rather than with a rich common ground, we expect it to be most appropriate in dialogical genres characterized by a low degree of acquaintance, a high degree of social distance between co-participants, and symmetry of social roles.
Cited by 3 other publications
Faber, Pamela & Pilar León-Araúz
. Specialized Knowledge Representation and the Parameterization of Context
. Frontiers in Psychology
Pelosi, Serena, Daniela Trotta & Alessandro Maisto
. 2019 Sixth International Conference on Social Networks Analysis, Management and Security (SNAMS)
pp. 435 ff.
. Case Studies of Italian Modal Constructions in Context
. In Modality in Argumentation
, 29], ►
pp. 371 ff.
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