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The grammar of an epistemic marker Swedish jag tycker ‘I think’ as a positionally sensitive unit Jan Lindström Scandinavian languages, University of Helsinki.

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Presentation on theme: "The grammar of an epistemic marker Swedish jag tycker ‘I think’ as a positionally sensitive unit Jan Lindström Scandinavian languages, University of Helsinki."— Presentation transcript:

1 The grammar of an epistemic marker Swedish jag tycker ‘I think’ as a positionally sensitive unit Jan Lindström Scandinavian languages, University of Helsinki Left/Right-Asymmetries in Conversational Language FRIAS, Freiburg May 2012

2 1) GSM:11. Moderator (M) & highschool students on music styles. M:men du Anna som inte gillar de, va ä de som inte ä bra? A:nä ja tycker de e: (.) näe (0.2) ◦för mjäkigt tycker jag◦. ( ) B:◦tycker nog de e bra◦ ((whispering)) [((laughs)) C:[((laughs)) A:nä nja M:men Mattias sa tycker att de ä helt okej? C:a: ja tycker (d)e e (.) gött å sitta lyssna på när man (.) pluggar å såhär. A:[mhm D:[mhm Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

3 1) GSM:11. Moderator (M) & highschool students on music styles. M:men du Anna som inte gillar de, but you Anna who don’t like it, va ä de som inte ä bra? what is it that’s not good? A:nä ja tycker de e: (.) näe no I think it is: (.) well (0.2) ◦för mjäkigt tycker jag◦. ( ) ◦too soft I think ◦ B:◦tycker nog de e bra◦ ((whispering)) ◦ think it’s still good◦ [((laughs)) C:[((laughs)) A:nä nja no well M:men Mattias sa tycker att de ä helt okej? but Mattias said thinks that it is quite okay? C:a: ja tycker (d)e e (.) gött å sitta lyssna på yeah I think it’s (.) good to sit and listen to när man (.) pluggar å såhär. when you (.) study and so on. A:[mhm D:[mhm Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

4 The epistemic marker ’jag tycker’ • Principally a ”matrix clause” projecting a complement (clause), or a syntactically non- projected sentence-final ”comment clause” – Parentheticals, epistemic predicates, stance markers, (I-oriented) comment clauses • An (inter)subjective marker, ’to my mind’ – Cf. I think, ich finde, je pense – Marks epistemic • Access – subjective, personal standpoint • Right – (inter)subjective right to make a stand • Obligation – to make a stand – (cf. Stivers, Mondada, Steensig, 2011) Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

5 • Part of a paradigm of epistemic markers – Jag tycker ’I think’ • Subjective epistemic access – Jag tror ’I think, I believe’ • Evaluation of subjective epistemic access – (jag tänker) ’I think’ (lit.), ’have in mind, reflect’ • General cognitive activity of thinking, reasoning – Jag anser ’I think, it is my opinion’ • Subjective epistemic access (formal use) – Jag känner ’I feel’ • Experiential/emotional (epistemic) access – (jag menar) ’I mean’ • Explanative marker • Marker of reformulation and repair (grammaticalized) Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

6 Structural(ist) analysis Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

7 Basic left/right-asymmetries • Depending on syntactic position – Left • Subj + verb in ”full” initial position: jag tycker • Matrix clause + complement clause – Jag tycker (att) de e bra – Right • Verb + subject in subsequent position: tycker jag • Clause + comment clause/modifier – De e bra, tycker jag Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

8 1’) GSM:11. Moderator (M) & highschool students on music styles. Line 3 & 11, 5. M:men du Anna som inte gillar de, va ä de som inte e bra? A:nä ja tycker de e: (.) näe (0.2) ◦för mjäkigt tycker jag◦. ( ) B:◦tycker nog de e bra◦ ((whispering)) [((laughs)) C:[((laughs)) A:nä nja M:men Mattias sa tycker att de e helt okej? C:a: ja tycker (d)e e (.) gött å sitta lyssna på när man (.) pluggar å såhär. A:[mhm D:[mhm Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

9 Also first/second-asymmetries • Jag tycker is the general/neutral form – Both in first and second positions in a sequence of turns – The only form in subordinate clauses En dansbandslåt som jag tycker är bra ’A dance band tune which I think is good’ • Recognizable second (response) position forms: – De tycker jag (...) = intwined clauses; cleft De tycker jag e bra = Jag tycker de e bra – Tycker jag... = topic drop (object; anaphoric ellipsis); cleft (de) Tycker jag e bra – Tycker... = topic drop (subject; deictic ellipsis) (jag) Tycker de e bra Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

10 De tycker ja 2) GSM:7. Moderator (M) & highschool students on music styles. Line 9. A:.hh dom har väl blivit #så där eh:::#.hh they have I guess become #so erm# snowboard å:: skatesvängen ( [ ) ] snowboard and skate scene B: [ja::] yes de [e mycke sånt] [ja,] there’s much of that yes M: [ mmh  mm:::] A: [ #m]m::[::# ] B: [°fak]tiskt°. °actually° (0.3) B:°de: tycker ja°. ” that think I ” (≈that’s my opinion) Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

11 Tycker jag topic drop, intwined clauses 3) GSM:26. Moderator (M) & highschool students on music styles. Line 4. M:bra↑ (.) vi kan ta nästa låt¿ good (.) we can take the next tune¿ A:hm↑ ((The Beatles ”She loves you” is played back, ca 1 min.)) A:tycker jag e jättebra. ((laughs)) (that) I think is awesome Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

12 Tycker subject drop 1’’) GSM:11. Moderator (M) & highschool students on music styles. Line 6. M:men du Anna som inte gillar de, but you Anna who don’t like it, va ä de som inte ä bra? what is it that’s not good? A:nä ja tycker de e: (.) näe no I think it is: (.) well (0.2) ◦för mjäkigt tycker jag◦. ( ) ◦too soft I think ◦ B:◦tycker nog de e bra◦ ((whispering)) ◦ think it’s still good◦ Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

13 • Recognizable end position form – Post-clausal tycker jag • Prosodically projected/continuous • Recognizable expansion form – Post-possible completion tycker jag • Syntactically and prosodically non-projected Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

14 Post-clausal tycker jag 1’’’) GSM:11. Moderator (M) & highschool students on music styles. Line 5. M:men du Anna som inte gillar de, but you Anna who don’t like it, va ä de som inte e bra? what is it that’s not good? A:nä ja tycker de e: (.) näe no I think it is: (.) well (0.2) ◦för mjäkigt tycker jag◦. ( ) ◦ too soft I think ◦ ( ) Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

15 Post-possible completion tycker jag 4) GSM:7. Moderator (M) & highschool students on music styles. Line 12. A:nä:e: >elle ja<. (.) de beror på (.) vissa låtar kan va bra men:, (0.3) de mesta gillar ja inte.= B:=jo men: >ja tycker nog<, >de går no:g< å lyssna på men:, (.) Jumper e väl (0.7) strået vassare >i såna fall<. M:mm[:. ] B: [äv]en fall de inte e så stor skillnad på dom. (0.6) B:>tycke ja<. (0.3) M:mm¿ Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

16 Summary of the formal variation ”Left” formsGrammatical formationSequential position Jag tycker att → Matrix cl. w complementizerNeutral Jag tycker → Matrix cl. w/o complementizerNeutral Tycker (att) → Matrix cl. w topic drop, w or w/o complementizer Responsive Det tycker jag./ → Clause/intwined matrix cl.Responsive Tycker jag → Intwined matrix cl. w topic dropResponsive ”Right” formsGrammatical formationSequential position ← tycker jagPost-clausal comment clauseUnit closure. ← tycker jagGlued-on post-clausal comment clauseIncrement Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

17 On-line perspectives • Emergence – Emergent syntactic patterns in different positions – Emerging/sedimented patterns? • Projection – Directionality and dependency relations • Expansion – Relation to a preceding structure Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

18 ’Jag tycker’ as emergent patterns Affirmative • Jag tycker – att de e – de e – (bara/liksom) de e • Ø Tycker – de e • De tycker jag – e • Ø Tycker jag – e • ← tycker jag. – (de e.) Negated • Jag tycker inte – att de e – de e • (Ø Tycker inte) – de e • De tycker /inte/ jag /inte/ – e • Ø Tycker /inte/ jag /inte/ – e • ← tycker /jag/ inte /jag/ Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

19 ’Jag tycker’ as emergent patterns Affirmative • Jag tycker – att de e – de e – (bara/liksom) de e • Ø Tycker – de e • De tycker jag – e • Ø Tycker jag – e • ← tycker jag. – (de e.) Negated • Jag tycker inte – att de e – de e • (Ø Tycker inte) – de e • De tycker /inte/ jag /inte/ – e • Ø Tycker /inte/ jag /inte/ – e • ← tycker /jag/ inte /jag/ Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

20 Projections • Jag tycker / Ø tycker project – A full complement clause → closure of a gestalt – Or another filling element, anaph. pron. jag tycker de • De tycker jag / Ø tycker jag project – A continuation of the intwined clause → closure of a gestalt – Or is a complete gestalt de tycker jag ← sequential context (=giving a confirmation is made relevant) • Post-clausal tycker jag is not structurally projected and does not have projections – Marks strongly by its presence a unit closure (cf. ”recompleters”, you know) Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

21 Expansions • ”Right” position tycker jag – is a sentential expansion outside of a clausal frame • Relation to preceding structure marked by VS • Optionally also by the same polarity in case of negation De e inte speciellt roligt heller tycker inte jag. • Because it is non-projected and relatable it is ideal as an increment – Expandable itself? (probably not) De e såhär lite typ engelskinspirerat (.) tycker jag de e ’It is like you know English inspired (.) I think it is’ • Relation to the intwined clauses pattern – Jag tycker de e engelskinspirerat – De tycker jag e engelskinspirerat – Engelskinspirerat tycker jag de e Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

22 • Sequential expansions – In ”left” position, VS marks that the contribution bears a relation to the preceding move • Linked to the structural indexicality of post-clausal tycker jag – Expansion emerges from sequential and structural latency • (”She loves you”) tycker jag e jättebra [constituent-1] + [intwined tycker jag] • (för mjäkigt tycker jag) tycker nog de e bra [move-1 incl. (jag)] [move-2 ”( )”] + tycker nog de e bra Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

23 Emerging patterns for ’jag tycker’? • Not an ideal case of grammaticalization – No pre-front field item but sensitive to syntactic position – Can be negated – Complement clause may display dependen syntax • Something’s still happening? – Syntactic looseness in final position – Phonological reduction in all positions – Formal reduction is being conventionalized in left positions? – Formulaic ”left” variants • Tycker jag med, tycker jag också Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

24 Consequences of the asymmetries • Emergence under different sequential conditions → consequential for syntax and (inter)action • Jag tycker (att) de e – Action: evaluation projector + evaluation • Tycker de e / (de) tycker jag e – Action: responsive evaluation projector + evaluation • … tycker jag. – Action: evaluation + evaluation recontextualizer • Afterthought, hedge Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

25 Conclusion • ’jag tycker’ as a case of left/right-asymmetry – Left forms have projections • General projection units for emerging TCU:s – Left forms anchor the contribution with subjective epistemicity – Right forms are expanded and syntactically related to the preceding unit • No further projections → a short, formulaic unit – Right forms recategorize, even downgrade, the preceding evaluation/assessment by subjectification • Both syntax- and actionwise useful as increments Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

26 • ’jag tycker’ as a case of positionally sensitive grammar: first/second-asymmetries – Sequentiality of units (sequence syntax) • Cf. directionality of units (on-line syntax) • Verb-first/inverted forms ”to the left” are marked as being specifically second (or subsequent) position forms – Responsive or elaborating moves Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

27 • Structural indexicality of tycker (jag) • VS has special functions in dialogues in the Swedish language that alternates between SV and VS (depending on syntactic position) – VS is used as a tying mechanism in syntagmatic and sequential terms Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki

28 • What kind of grammar, then? – Global grammar # local grammars? – ”Local” grammars • Grammar of first and second positions? • Grammar of left and right positions? • Grammar of epistemic markers? • Grammar of ’jag tycker’? Jan Lindström/University of Helsinki


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