Indirect Speechact

1. General

1.1. Label

Indirect Speech Act Construction I (Can/could you X)

1.2. Reasons for construction status

The construction contributes form and meaning aspects not provided by the lexical material inside the construction.

1.3. Examples

i. Can you pass the salt?

2. Language Information


2.2. Language


2.3. Variety

The construction seems to occur in all spoken, dialogical varieties of English.

2.4. Speech Community

It is not restricted to a particular speech communicty.

2.5. Language Contact

(to be filled out if the construction influenced by constructions from another languages)

2.6. Time Period

(time period of construction)

2.7. Stage of Acquisition

(comments on age and circumstances of the acquisition)

3. Form

3.1. Syntax


(general comments on the syntactic properties of the construction)

3.1.2. Internal Valency

(information on valency relationships inside the construction) Constituency

[SUBJ2P can VP] # cf. example i. above

3.1.3. External Category

(category label) Structural Position

The construction occurs at the beginning of a new speaker turn.

3.2. Morphology


(general comments on the morphological properties of the construction)

3.2.2. Internal Morphological Properties of Elements

(morphological properties of elements)

3.2.3. External Morphological Properties of Construction

(morphological properties of the construction itself)

4. Meaning

4.1. Semantics


(prose description of construction's meaning)

4.1.2. Internal Frame

(frame evoked) Event

(event type) Participants

(description of the participants, e.g. as 'selection restrictions') Truth-Conditional Information

(information on the truthconditional properties of the construction) Negation

(peculiar behaviours with respect to negation) Scope

(description of the scope of the construction)

4.1.3. External Semantic Class

(semantic category) Relation to Construction-External Semantic Elements

(description of semantic relations outside of the construction) Truth Relations

(information on the truthconditional relationships of the construction) Semantic Presuppositions

(semantic presupposition) Semantic Entailments

(semantic entailments)

4.2. Pragmatics


Construction is interpreted against the background of a speech act scenario, which following Panther and Thornburg includes the following kinds of knowledge (Panther and Thornburg 1998:759)

Simplified scenario for requests The BEFORE: H can do A; S wants H to do A The CORE: S puts H under a (more or less strong) obligation to do A The RESULT: H is under the obligation to do A The AFTER: H will do A

example: The BEFORE: Can you pass me the salt; I need the H can do A; S wants H to do A The CORE: S puts H under a (more or less strong) obligation to do A The RESULT: H is under the obligation to do A The AFTER: H will do A

4.2.2. Internal

(internal pragmatic properties)

4.2.3. External Indexical Properties Deixis

(linguistic and extralinguistic domains indexed) Intertextuality

(intertextual links evoked) Interpersonal Function

(politeness, other-self, etc.) Speaker attitude

(modality, epistemic, emotion) Speech Act Function

none. Rhetorical Function

(rhetorical potential) Style

none. Pragmatic Presuppositions / Implicature

(modality, epistemic, emotion)

4.3. Discourse Properties

4.3.1. Internal Turn Constructional Status

It occurs turn-initially after a previous speaker's contribution but does not constitute a TCU itself. Within-Turn Position


4.3.2.External Sequential Context

The construction occurs turn-initially after an utterance produced by the communication partner. Position in Text- and Dialogue-Structure

The construction occurs turn-initially after an utterance produced by the communication partner. It claims that the current utterance is related relevantly to the previous. Sequence Type

(type of sequence)

4.4. Information Structure

4.4.1. Internal Topic - Comment

(contribution to topic-comment structure) Focus

(placement of focus)

4.4.2. External Signaled Information Status

(status of information as given, new, inferable, etc.) Information Status Requirements

(information status requirements)

4.5. Data

4.5.1. Introspection

(introspective data used)

4.5.2. Authentic data Source data properties

The construction occurs ubiquitously in spontaneous conversation/dialogue. Methods of Analysis

(source material size/length, number of tokens considered, sampling, search string, sample rate, number of retrieved hits, cleaning procedures)

4.6. Literature

Anatol Stefanowitsch (2003): A construction-based approach to indirect speech acts. In Klaus-Uwe Panther and Linda Thornburg (eds.), Metonymy and pragmatic inferencing. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: Benjamins

5. Relations to other constructions

5.1. Subtypes

5.1.1. Diachronic

(relations to subtypes of the construction through time)

5.1.2. Synchronic

(relations to subtypes of the construction)

5.2. Supertypes

5.2.1. Diachronic

(relations to more general constructions through time)

5.2.2. Synchronic

(relations to more general constructions)

5.3. Paradigmatic Relations

(relations to constructions of the same category)

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