Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter Mouton February 5, 2021

Construction of a binary evaluative taxonomy within a story

Eric Hauser ORCID logo
From the journal Text & Talk


Making use of Occasioned Semantics, I look at how a taxonomy of different types of alcoholic beverages is constructed within a story told during the closing of a meeting at a neighborhood organization. The data are in Japanese with English translation. The use of taxonomic analysis within Occasioned Semantics is discussed, with a separate example. The story is shown to be placed at a point in the closing routine where an invitation to join a post-meeting drinking session is expectable. Within the story, the teller, Kaicho, who is the head of the organization, constructs an occasioned inclusion taxonomy of alcoholic beverages. He then adds two binary evaluative contrasts to the more specific level of the taxonomy. What Kaicho accomplishes through telling the story, what he accomplishes through constructing the taxonomy with its evaluative contrasts, and how the constructed taxonomy cannot be seen simply as the reflection of an underlying cognitive structure are discussed. It is argued that an ad hoc element is an inherent part of any actually occurring taxonomy. The role of cultural knowledge in the analysis of meaning in interaction is discussed.

Corresponding author:Eric Hauser, The University of Electro-Communications, E1-614, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu-shi, Tokyo, 182-0021, Japan, E-mail:

Appendix: Symbols used in morpheme-by-morpheme gloss

Adopted from Greer et al. (2017) (GI&T), except where noted.

ASaspect marker (not in GI&T)
CLclassifier (not in GI&T)
COMPcomplementizer (not in GI&T)
EXexistential verb (not in GI&T)
Hhesitation marker
IPinteractional particle
LKlinking particle
Oobject marker
POLpolite form
PPpostposition (not in GI&T)
Qquestion marker
Ssubject marker
TPtopic marker


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Received: 2019-09-27
Accepted: 2021-01-13
Published Online: 2021-02-05

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