Clause-combining and the sequencing of actions
This paper extends recent discussions on projector constructions to another language (French), and to a further set of linguistic formats. I propose a reanalysis, in the light of the sequential organization of actions, of the <i>je veux dire</i> ‘I want to say’+ complement clause pattern, the <i>il y a</i> ‘there is’ presentational cleft and the pseudocleft construction. I first identify a recurrent constructional schema consisting of an initial ‘fragment’ (<i>je veux dire</i>, <i>il y a NP</i> or <i>ce qui/ce que x</i>) followed by a syntactically independent stretch of talk. I then show that these fragments routinely accomplish a specific social action, namely projecting upcoming talk. By means of these projector constructions, speakers recipient-design their turns, helping recipients to monitor through the complex architecture of talk. I conclude by discussing implications regarding the on-line character of grammar.