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Immediate and extended intersubjectification: the case of the presuppositional construction [you don’t want x] in British and American English

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Abstract

Publication date29/07/2014
Number of pages2
Original languageEnglish
Event5th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference - Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 29/07/201431/07/2014


Conference5th UK Cognitive Linguistics Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom


This work provides a theoretical and methodological contribution to the heated discussion on intersubjectivity and intersubjectification (Traugott 1999, 2002, 2003, 2010, 2012; Nuyts 2001, 2012; Verhagen 2005; Narrog 2010, 2012). I will argue that intersubjectivity, intended as the subject’s awareness of the other persona(s)’ feelings, knowledge and beliefs, can be construed alternatively on an ‘immediate’ and on an ‘extended’ level. Immediate intersubjectivity (I-I) corresponds to the mutual awareness of the speech participants during the on-going speech event, whereas extended intersubjectivity (E-I) includes an assumed 3rd party (specific or generic) who has an indirect social bearing on the utterance (cf. Tantucci 2013). Along a unidirectional cline of change, extended
intersubjectification will be demonstrated to constitute a further stage of semantic and grammatical reanalysis with respect to its immediate counterpart. In this usage-based study, I will first analyse quantitatively and qualitatively the immediate and extended intersubjectification process of [you don’t want x] in the COHA(1) during each decade from 1810 to 1910 drawing a diachronic semantic map (cf. Anderson 1986; Van Der Auwera and Plungian 1998; Haspelmath 2003; Croft 2003; Narrog 2010) of the reanalysis of the chunk over the 100 years considered. I will then provide a comparative set of data gathered from the study of all the occurrences of [you don’t want x] in the American and British sections of the Brown Family corpora from 1928 till 2009. I will then discuss the results of a survey on the DCPSE(2) regarding the diachronic increase of immediate and extended intersubjectified usages of the same construction in spoken BE and AE from 1950 and 1990. Finally, I will provide a comparative corpus enquiry on the present-day distribution of immediate and extended intersubjectified usages of [you don’t want x] in the spoken section of the BNC(3) and the Longman Spoken American Corpus.