Project "Constitution of meaning in social interaction (interactional semantics)"

Construction of multi-unit turns

In multi-unit turns, speakers construct syntactic structures, actions and meaning incrementally by using various bi- or multi-clausal grammatical constructions (e.g. postpositioned dependent clauses, coordinate and pseudo-coordinate structures, asyndetically juxtaposed clauses with and without connecting particles). We describe the forms and functions of selected constructions that have not or rarely been investigated so far. Our analyses include their syntactic and sequential embedding, their projecting or turn-expanding functions, the semantic relations among clauses and the actions that they accomplish.

Examples are right dislocation and pseudo-coordination. The former construction often emerges when completed anaphoric turns are expanded. This way, the construction enables specifications and reinterpretations (aber das hab ich nicht MITbekommen. (0.32) dass es da so YOUtubevideos gab. 'but that passed me by. (0.32) that there were youtube videos [about that].') and leads to an incremental and sometimes interactive constitution of meaning. The latter construction also facilitates the incremental construction of turns and leads to the chunking of new information (da kommt ihrn ausbilder REIN, (0.35) und und wEEß eigentlich gar net was er heit mit ihne MAchen soll. 'Then your teacher comes in, (0.35) and actually doesn't know what he is supposed to do with you today.'). At the same time, the first clause is often semantically dependent on the second one (especially if it contains certain verbs such as kommen 'come') and therefore projects it. However, both constructions can be used for projection as well as for expansion. They therefore make it possible to investigate the interplay of syntactic, lexical and prosodic factors in the construction of linguistic units, and the emergent constitution of meaning in multi-unit turns.


  • Deppermann, Arnulf / Proske, Nadine (2015): Grundeinheiten der Sprache und des Sprechens. In: Dürscheid, Christa / Schneider, Jan-Georg (eds.): Handbuch Satz, Äußerung, Schema. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, pp. 17-47.
  • Proske, Nadine (2015): Die Rolle komplexer Nachfeldbesetzungen bei der Einheitenbildung im gesprochenen Deutsch. In: Vinckel-Roisin, Hélène (ed.): Das Nachfeld im Deutschen. Theorie und Empirie. Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter, pp. 279-297.
  • Proske, Nadine (in press): Perspektivierung von Handlungen und Zuschreibung von Intentionalität durch pseudokoordiniertes kommen. In: Deppermann, Arnulf / Proske, Nadine / Zeschel, Arne (eds.): Verben im interaktiven Kontext. Bewegungsverben und mentale Verben im gesprochenen Deutsch. Tübingen: Narr.
  • Proske, Nadine / Deppermann, Arnulf (in preparation): Between projection and expansion: 'right dislocated' dass-complement clauses in German. In: Keevallik, Leelo / Lindström, Jan / Maschler, Yael / Pekarek Doehler, Simona (eds.): Clause-combining and the multi-semiotic organization of social actions: projection and emergence in interaction. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins.

Contact: Dr. Nadine Proske, proske(at)