Chapter in:Building Categories in Interaction: Linguistic resources at work
Edited by Caterina Mauri, Ilaria Fiorentini and Eugenio Goria
[Studies in Language Companion Series 220] 2021
► pp. 74–110
Category-building lists between grammar and interaction
A constructionist view
Lists are one of the most common devices that are used in interaction to refer to a category. Yet, there are only few studies that analyze the relationship between lists and categorization. Our paper aims at advancing our knowledge of this relationship, and of lists in general. From a theoretical point of view, we discuss the benefits of integrating the Construction Grammar approach to lists adopted in Masini et al. (2018) with some of the basic assumptions of Interactional Linguistics. From an empirical point of view, we offer a qualitative analysis of lists based on data from two corpora of spoken Italian: the LIP corpus (De Mauro et al. 1993) and the KIParla corpus (Mauri et al. 2019a). In particular, we discuss a case study on the use of the Italian discourse marker insomma within list constructions: while it serves as a reformulation marker in most of its uses, insomma also proves to be used (more marginally) as a category introducer within category-building lists. Our findings provide useful insight to ultimately bridge the gap between denotation lists as a reference-oriented phenomenon and other types of mechanisms that are relevant at the discourse level, including conversational repair.
Keywords: list, categorization, construction grammar, interactional linguistics, spoken Italian, reformulation, discourse marker