Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Given that face-to-face interaction is an important locus for linguistic transmission (Enfield 2008: 297), it is argued in this paper that conversational structure must provide affordances (Gibson 1979) for transmitting linguistic items. The paper focuses on repeats where an interactant (partially) repeats their interlocutor’s preceding utterance. Repeats are argued to provide affordances for the transmission of innovative and conservative linguistic items by forcing interactants to repeat linguistic material uttered by another person, facilitating production by exploiting priming effects. Moreover, repeats leave room for modification and thereby for actively resisting transmission. In this way, repeats unite the competing forces (Tantucci et al. 2018) of automaticity and creativity. To support this claim, this paper investigates the use of Spanish insertions and alternative variants in utterance-repeat pairs in Yurakaré (isolate, Bolivia) conversations. The findings are compatible with a holistic view of language where all linguistic levels are interconnected (Beckner et al. 2009).


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