Edited by Marcel den Dikken and Kees Hengeveld
[Linguistics in the Netherlands 12] 1995
► pp. 61–71
Participant structure and the on-line production of discourse context
This paper presents the micro-analysis of one interrupted and unfinished Dutch 'sentence' that was heard in a popular Dutch Talk Show called 'Sonja op Zaterdag'.1 It contains a self-correction that is produced as a change in 'footing' (Goffman 1979). The issue is raised whether the abandonment of the sentence-under-construction should be considered a random, 'performance' type phenomenon or whether it can be accounted for systematically in terms of discourse-level constraints on the interruptability of sentences (cf. Schegloff 1979). I will argue that the latter seems to be the case. Analyses of the data and hypothetical alternatives to it reveal that observed differences can be articulated in a dynamic discourse model in which utterances may themselves produce contextual updates (Polanyi and Scha 1983; Polanyi 1988; applied to classroom data by van Dam van Isselt 1993). It is suggested that the model should be extended to acknowledge 'defective' sentences.
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