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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton January 19, 2018

Metapragmatic appositions in German talk-in-interaction

  • Jens Philipp Lanwer EMAIL logo


In German talk-in-interaction it can be observed that so-called loose appositions are frequently used as a grammatical resource for performing selfinitiated self-repairs in the domain of reference. In the current paper, it is argued that this kind of appositional pattern can be described as a grammatical construction which indicates that the incorporated grammatical elements give alternative ‘reference instructions’ for building up compatible conceptualizations of one and the same entity with respect to different epistemic domains. Thereby it offers the possibility to incrementally adjust the design of reference instructions to divergent knowledge states of the interlocutors. The use of appositional constructions is thus frequently linked to aspects of epistemic stance regarding a lack of common ground. Hence, it is argued that aspects of the local management of epistemic asymmetries can be considered part of the pragmatic specifications of the construction. These specifications are sometimes made explicit through the use of lexical markers like also ‘that is’ so that the extended pattern which contains such markers might be called a metapragmatic construction.

Published Online: 2018-1-19
Published in Print: 2017-12-20

© 2018 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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