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Apposition: A multimodal construction? The multimodality of linguistic constructions in the light of usage-based theory

Jens Philipp Lanwer
From the journal Linguistics Vanguard


The purpose of this paper is to address some methodological questions arising in the framework of usage-based construction grammar facing the multimodality of language use. These questions will be discussed with respect to different patterns of head nods accompanying different appositional patterns in spoken German.


The paper originated in the context of the research project “Interactional grammar: appositions and apposition-like constructions in spoken German between interactional practice and syntactic pattern” (IM 122/2-1) founded by the DFG. For proofreading the text I would like to thank Georgios Coussios and David Hünlich.

Conventions used for multimodal transcription

Temporal structure and alignment

. .. ...period of preparation in ms (1 ms, 2 ms, 3 ms etc.)
⁃ ⁃⁃ ⁃⁃⁃period of holding in ms (1 ms, 2 ms, 3 ms etc.)
, ,, ,,,period of retraction in ms (1 ms, 2 ms, 3 ms etc.)
°{}kine begins before the excerpts beginning
⁃⁃⁃°holding of kine after ending
*indexes the point of alignment of a posture in the verbal transcription

Specified coding of head movements


Left symbol: left, upward or backward; right symbol: right, downward or forward (according to axis and motion)

Additional symbols



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Received: 2016-08-11
Accepted: 2016-10-31
Published Online: 2017-06-29

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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