Conjunction and sequenced actions: The Estonian complementizer and evidential particle<i> et</i>

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The usage patterns of the Estonian complementizer <i>et </i>in sequentially embedded actions show that it functions as an evidential particle. In oral as well as Internet interaction, clause-initial <i>et </i>attributes upcoming content to the previous speaker/writer and thereby incorporates another voice. Clause-combining with <i>et </i>is thus a collaborative achievement of the participants performing sequenced actions in real time. The development of this complementizer and evidential from an original deictic item most probably started in reported speech, where the recurrent repetition of <i>et </i>may have resulted in the incorporation of the last instance into the following clause.


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