Publication details [#62687]

Dreyfus, Shoshana. 2017. ‘Mum, the pot broke’: Taking responsibility (or not) in language. Discourse & Society 28 (4) : 374–391.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
SAGE Publications


This paper employs an ideational view to examine how we take responsibility for our past actions in language. It centers on how we construe actions in transitive and ergative language patterns and from this evolve a cline of responsibility, which has maximum responsibility at the one end and minimum responsibility at the other. The paper explores a number of instances of language use from diverse genres and registers with this cline to establish to what level language users take responsibility (or not) for their actions via language.