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The construction of discourse is a challenging field where many discourse structures and interactional effects remain poorly understood. This analysis provides a systematic explanation for the way in which discourse participants (speaker and hearer) are construed in Spanish through a corpus-driven analysis of informal conversation, TV-debates and parliamentary debates. It deals not only with person deixis, but with the full range of possibilities speakers choose from when profiling their self or their relationship with the interlocutor. This analysis also offers new insights into the operationalization of the concepts of subjectivity and intersubjectivity as tools for the analysis of person reference and genre comparison. The comparative and corpus-driven approach offers methodological tools for genre analysis that can be transposed to other languages and/or genres. The detailed description of three socially highly relevant discourse types from a cognitive-functional perspective makes this book a useful resource not only for pragmatists but also for researchers in political and media discourse.
Quantification is central to human experience (cf. Aristotle’s Organon): the most basic aspects of human life and reasoning involve quantity assessment. This study sheds lights on a highly frequent way to express quantification in Spanish, viz. the binominal quantifier (e.g. un aluviónN1 de llamadasN2 ‘a flood of calls’) which assesses the quantity of N2 in terms of N1. This volume offers a corpus-based, cognitive-functional analysis of binominal quantifiers (BQ) in Spanish. The first part is dedicated to the development of BQs and starts from the assumption that BQs are cross-linguistically involved in grammaticalization. This monograph frames the history of BQs in Spanish in terms of constructional levels of change and highlights the complex interplay between analogical thinking and conceptual persistence. The second part motivates both the ample variation in the paradigm of quantifying nouns and their combinatorial pattern by the very same mechanism of conceptually-driven analogy. The study thus yields an innovative functional model of BQs in Spanish, in synchrony and in diachrony, with major implications for reference grammars and theory building.
Developments in the analysis of linguistic variation show the need for a theoretical model whereby variants are viewed as cognitively-based communicative choices. In this book, the analysis of the first and second grammatical persons in Spanish media discourse illustrates an approach to linguistic structure and usage as motivated by the need to create meaning at all semiotic levels. Rather than mere sets of deictic forms, persons constitute arrays of functional strategies used by speakers to develop certain representations of themselves and others. The degree of salience attributed to some participant through grammatical configuration – including features like person, way of formulation and syntactic function – strongly conditions the discursive role of that participant, as well as the communicative situation at large. Methodologically, the demonstration conjugates the analysis of quantitative usage patterns with that of specific instances of choice, in order to elucidate the stylistic potential of syntactic forms in media contexts. Understanding variation as the construction of meaning is essential to the scientific advancement of linguistics as an inherently social and cognitive discipline.
This book presents the first serious attempt to set out a functional-semantic definition of diachronic transcategorial shift between the major classes noun/nominal and verb/clause. In English, speakers have different options to refer to an event, ranging from that-clauses (That he had guessed her size) over infinitives (For him to guess her size) and verbal gerunds (Him guessing her size) to nominal gerunds (His guessing of her size) and deverbal nouns (His guess of her size). Interestingly, not only do these strategies each resemble "prototypical" nominals to varying extents, but also some of these strategies increasingly resemble clauses and decreasingly resemble prototypical nominals over time, as if they are gradually shifting categories. Thus far, the literature that has dealt with such cases of diachronic categorial shift has mainly described the processes by focusing on form, leaving us with a clear picture of what and how changes have occurred. Yet, the question of why these formal changes have occurred is still shrouded in mystery. In this book, Lauren Fonteyn tackles this mystery by showing that the diachronic processes of nominalization and verbalization can also involve functional-semantic changes in two steps. First, building on functionalist and cognitive models of grammar, she offers a theoretical model of categoriality that allows us to study diachronic nominalization and verbalization not just as morphosyntactic but also as functional-semantic processes. Second, she offers more concrete, "workable" definitions of the abstract functional-semantic properties of the nominal and verbal/clausal class, which are subsequently applied to one of the most intriguing deverbal nominalization systems in the history of English: the English gerund.
Many racial minority communities claim profiling occurs frequently in their neighborhoods. Police authorities, for the most part, deny that they engage in racially biased police tactics. A handful of books have been published on the topic, but they tend to offer only anecdotal reports offering little reliable insight. Few use a qualitative methodological lens to provide the context of how minority citizens experience racial profiling. Racial Profiling: They Stopped Me Because I’m ———! places minority citizens who believe they have been racially profiled by police authorities at the center of the data. Using primary empirical studies and extensive, in-depth interviews, the book draws on nearly two years of field research into how minorities experience racial profiling by police authorities. The author interviewed more than 100 racial and ethnic minority citizens. Citing 87 of these cases, the book examines each individual case and employs a rigorous qualitative phenomenological method to develop dominant themes and determine their associated meaning. Through an exploration of these themes, we can learn: What racial profiling is, its historical context, and how formal legal codes and public policy generally define it The best methods of data collection and the advantages of collecting racial profiling data How certain challenges can prevent data collection from properly identifying racial profiling or bias-based policing practices Data analysis and methods of determining the validity of the data The impact of pretextual stops and the effect of Whren v. United States A compelling account of how minority citizens experience racial profiling and how they ascribe and give meaning to these experiences, the book provides a candid discussion of what the findings of the research mean for the police, racial minority citizens, and future racial profiling research. Michael L. Birzer was recently interviewed on public radio about his book, Racial Profiling: They Stopped Me Because I’m ———!

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