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G&C Colloquium: Esther Pascual (Lecture)

Thursday 9 March 2023Add to my calendar
10:30 to
Grammar & Cognition
Esther Pascual
Toward a Linguistics for our Conversational Mind: Fictive interaction across languages and grammatical levels

Toward a Linguistics for our Conversational Mind: Fictive interaction across languages and grammatical levels

In this talk I will make a case for a Linguistics that embraces intersubjectivity as a key dimension of language structure and use (cf. Verhagen 2005; Zlatev et al. 2008; Zima & Brône 2015). To this aim, I will discuss what I call fictive interaction (Pascual 2014, Pascual & Sandler 2016), that is the use of the frame of ordinary conversation as a means to structure: the conceptualization of reality (dance construed as conversation), discourse (monologue structured as dialogue), and grammar (direct speech compounds, like “what's-in-it-for-me attitude”). Specifically, I will present three studies on fictive interaction structures: (i) non-genuine question-answer pairs as the most unmarked way to express information structure (topic and focus) as well as relativization in signed languages (Jarque 2016, Jarque & Pascual 2021); (ii) imagined direct speech as the only grammaticalized way to express certain meanings (e.g. mental and emotional states, evidentiality) in numerous languages without writing (Pascual 2014: Ch. 4); and (iii) non-actual enunciations as the basic schema underlying inflected verb-complement compounds in Spanish (e.g. metomentodo ([I-put+myself+into+everything], ‘meddler’; tentetieso [hold+yourself+upright], ‘tilting doll’, Pascual & Marqueta in press). I will suggest that fictive interaction is a fundamental cognitive phenomenon and a possibly universal linguistic construction. I hope to show that the intimate relation between language and situated interaction is reflected in grammar, and thus that the Language Sciences needs to fully integrate interaction into its analyses and theoretical discussion.

Quoted references (abbreviated)

Jarque. 2016. What about? Fictive question-answer pairs across signed languages. In The Conversation Frame.

Jarque & Pascual. 2021. Fictive questions for relative clauses in signed languages. Languages and Modalities 1.

Pascual. 2014. Fictive Interaction. John Benjamins.

Pascual & Marqueta. In press. Viewpointed morphology. Journal of Linguistics 60.

Pascual & Oakley. 2017. Fictive interaction. In The Cambridge Handbook of Cognitive Linguistics.

Pascual & Sandler (Eds.). 2016. The Conversation Frame. John Benjamins.

Verhagen. 2005. Constructions of Intersubjectivity. OUP.

Zima & Brône (Eds.). 2015. Cognitive Linguistics and Interactional Discourse. Language and Cognition 7.4.

Zlatev, et al. (Eds.). 2008. The Shared Mind. John Benjamins.

Imke Wets and/or Michelle Suijkerbuijk