Grammar, projection and turn-organization

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This paper contributes to the debate over the temporal and emergent nature of grammar. Focusing on projection as a basis for clause-combining and the organization of actions, the paper explores speakers’ use of the French construction il y a NP ‘there is NP’, commonly considered to be part of a presentational cleft. The analysis of audio and video recorded social interactions provides evidence for the routinization of the il y a NP piece as a projector construction and documents its involvement in the management of multi-unit turns, turn-taking and sequence organization. Multimodal analysis shows how the projection emanating from the grammatical construction is prolonged by means of gesture. Results are discussed in the light of the emergent character of grammar.


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