Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2666-4224
  • E-ISSN: 2666-4232



This article presents a longitudinal study of a second language (L2) French speaker’s (Aurelia) use of the construction (‘you see’) over 15 months. Research on first language (L1) French has shown that has been subject to grammaticalization, whereby the construction in spoken language frequently serves as a discourse marker rather than a complement-taking predicate construction expressing visual perception. Drawing on longitudinal Conversation Analysis, I qualitatively and quantitatively analyze Aurelia’s use of in relation to its turn position and interactional purposes. I document a similar change happening in Aurelia’s use of the construction over time as what has been observed in L1 French: While she initially deploys exclusively in its ‘literal’ sense of visual perception and with a complement (, ‘you see X’), she eventually starts using it as a semantically bleached discourse marker for interaction-organizational and interpersonal purposes. A few ‘hybrid’ cases demonstrate the progressive nature of this change, and indicate further similarities between L2 acquisition and L1 grammaticalization processes. I discuss possible reasons for the documented change and address implications of the findings for research on both the development of L2 grammar-for-interaction and language change more generally.

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