Kerstin Fischer

25.–27. 3.


Kerstin Fischer


  Syddansk Universitet

Universität Hamburg

Odborné zaměření:
– Konstrukční gramatika
– Konverzační analýza

25. 3. /14.10/ č.18  1. Conversation Analysis and Construction Grammar: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship

Recent developments in grammatical theory seem to invite an integration of grammar and interaction; nevertheless, there are reservations on both sides. While some of these reservations can be traced to misconceptions, others are deeply rooted in the theoretical premises of each approach. The differences are, however, not very well understood; especially theoretical premises regarding the role of cognition in language use have been hindering a fruitful collaboration. I argue that a clarification of the differences and similarities can pave the way to a very promising cooperation.

26. 3. /17.30/ č. 300  2. A Radical Construction Grammar Approach to Discourse and Modal Particles

Discourse particles are highly polyfunctional: On the one hand, individual particles can fulfill different functions in different contexts, on the other, individual occurrences fulfill several different functions at the same time. Moreover, many discourse particles have ‘homonyms’ in the class of modal particles. Now, somehow the speakers and hearers of a language must be able to interpret occurrences of discourse and modal particles nevertheless, and the perspective taken here is that much information is in fact stored in the constructions in which discourse and modal particles occur, rather than in the items themselves. I therefore suggest a construction grammatical approach, which focuses on surface generalizations and which deals with constructions as language-specific primitives (Croft 2001). I outline how such an approach allows us to compare discourse and modal particles cross-linguistically.

27. 3. /15.50/  č. 300 3. Is Register a Part of Grammar? The Case of the so-called Simplified Registers

Speech to children is characterized by certain well-defined characteristics by means of which caregivers adjust their speech to the language-learning child, at least within certain societies. Child-directed speech has therefore been described as a simplified register (e.g. Ferguson 1975). Some researchers have furthermore suggested that child-directed speech constitutes a primary register that has secondary uses, for instance, for talking to foreigners, pets or loved ones (e.g. Ferguson 1982, De Paulo & Coleman 1986). In such a case, register may well be part of the linguistic knowledge of a speech community and thus part of grammar. In my talk, I address to what extent robot-directed speech makes use of features of child-directed speech – and thus whether there is a secondary use of the simplified register. However, all evidence shows that speakers rather make functional choices on the basis of their current perception of the situation, and thus that the notion of register takes at best an external view on a speech situation, yet is not a useful characterization of speakers’ linguistic knowledge.