Fixed Expressions

Building language structure and social action

ORCID logoRitva Laury | University of Helsinki
Tsuyoshi Ono | University of Alberta
ISBN 9789027207678 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027260628 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
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This volume concerns the structure and use of fixed expressions in a range of typologically, genetically and areally distinct languages. The chapters consider the use contexts of fixed expressions, at the same time taking seriously the need to account for their structural aspects. Formulaicity is taken here as a central feature of everyday language use, and fixed expressions as a basic utterance building resource for interaction. Our crosslinguistic investigation suggests that humans have the propensity to automatize ways to handle various discourse-level needs for specific sequential contexts by creating (semi-)fixed expressions based on frequent patterns. The chapters examine topics such as the degrees and types of fixedness, the emergence of fixed expressions, their connection to social action, the new understanding of traditional linguistic categories in light of fixedness, crosslinguistic variation in types of fixed expressions, as well as their non-verbal aspects. The volume situates the notion of ‘units’ of language at the intersection of interaction and formal structure as part of a larger effort to replace rule-based conceptions of language with a more dynamic, realistic and pragmatically based model of language. The articles are based on naturally occurring data, mostly everyday conversation, in English, Estonian, Finnish, Japanese, and Mandarin, with some crosslinguistic comparison.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 315] 2020.  v, 238 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Fixed Expressions is a remarkable contribution to studies on social interaction, more precisely the design of social actions and their points of connection with language structure and evolution. The volume and its chapters can appear as explorative in nature but make wonderful, thought-proving reading.”
Cited by

Cited by 4 other publications

Chen, Chun-Yin Doris, Chung-Yu Wu & Hongyin Tao
2022. Acquisition of the Epistemic Discourse Marker Wo Juede by Native Taiwan Mandarin Speakers. Languages 7:4  pp. 292 ff. DOI logo
Shibasaki, Reijirou
2023. Formulaicity and formulaic expressions in Japanese: an introduction. Journal of Japanese Linguistics 39:1  pp. 5 ff. DOI logo
Tolvanen, Eveliina
2023. ‘I think’ in Swedish L1 and L2 group interactions. Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA) DOI logo
Xie, Fan, Esther Pascual & Todd Oakley
2023. Functional echolalia in autism speech: Verbal formulae and repeated prior utterances as communicative and cognitive strategies. Frontiers in Psychology 14 DOI logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 15 april 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Main BIC Subject

CFG: Semantics, Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009030: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Pragmatics
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2020030884 | Marc record