Constructional patterns emerging in talk-in-interaction - Some observations of the grammar of govorit' in colloquial Russian

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


The paper adopts a usage-based perspective on the grammar of Russian talk-ininteraction and analyzes specific patterns relying on govorit’ (‘to say’) in the ORD corpus. Combining ideas from Construction Grammar and Interactional Linguistics, we determine and analyze patterns which meet recurrent communicative needs and which are associated with specific usage contexts in terms of constructions. The focus is on constructions with govorit’ (‘to say’) which indicate a shift of footing (Goffman). Shifting the footing covers various ways in which speakers detach themselves from their utterances and manipulate the degree of responsibility for their talk. In doing so, we pursue two aims, a theoretical and a practical one. On a conceptual level, we test Construction Grammar as a framework for the analysis of linguistic patterns in talk-in-interaction. From this perspective, we scrutinize it as a grammar for the description of a spoken language. On the level of application, the analysis of the constructions in which one of the most frequent verbs in Colloquial
Russian occurs reveals ongoing processes of language change. The results of this analysis nurture the argument that grammar (at least grammatical structures of talk-in-interaction) emerges from and is adapted to discourse routines. Our analysis underscores this argument in revealing the network of constructions which allow speakers to detach themselves from what they say. We can show that each construction within this network is tailored to a specific usage context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Voices. Studies in the Sociolinguistics, Grammar and Pragmatics of Spoken Russian.
Editors Thielemann, Nadine/Richter, Nicole
Place of PublicationFrankfurt/Main
PublisherPeter Lang
Pages63 - 90
ISBN (Print)978-3-631-66462-9
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 508007 Communication science
  • 602004 General linguistics
  • 602047 Slavonic studies
  • 602048 Sociolinguistics
  • 602026 Cognitive linguistics
  • 602041 Rhetoric

Cite this