The Grammar of the Utterance: How to Do Things with Ibero-Romance

Pre-Order   Ships 30 January 2022


This book examines how speakers of Ibero-Romance 'do things' with conversational units of language, paying particular attention to what they do with i) vocatives, interjections, and particles; and ii) illocutionary complementizers, items that look like subordinators but behave differently. Alice Corr argues that the behaviour of these conversation-oriented items provides insight into how language-as-grammar builds the universe of discourse. The approach identifies the underlying unity in how different Ibero-Romance languages, alongside their Romance cousins and Latin ancestors, use grammar to refer - i.e. to connect our inner world to the one outside - and the empirical arguments are underpinned by the philosophical position that the configurational architecture of grammar also configures the architecture of the mind. The book thus builds on existing work on the syntax of discourse not only by contributing new empirical and theoretical insights, but also by pursuing explanatory adequacy via a so-called 'un-Cartesian' grammar of reference. In so doing, it formalizes the intuition that language users do things not with words, but with grammar. Drawing on a wealth of naturalistic data from social media and online corpora, augmented by elicited introspective judgements, The Grammar of the Utterance offers new insights into the colloquial grammar and morphosyntactic variation of (Ibero-)Romance, and showcases the utility of comparative work on this language family in advancing our empirical and conceptual understanding of the organization of grammar.

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Oxford University Press
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