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From subordination to insubordination

A functional-pragmatic approach to if/si-constructions in English, French and Spanish spoken discourse

by Cristina Lastres‐López (Author)
Monographs 254 Pages
Series: Linguistic Insights, Volume 280

Summary

This book explores if/si-constructions in spoken English, French and Spanish, from a functional-pragmatic and corpus-based perspective. The analysis comprises instances of subordination, namely, conditional constructions – including prototypical cause-consequence patterns as well as other conditionals in which the conditional meaning is weaker – and cases of insubordination introduced by if and si. The theoretical framework is based on the three metafunctions distinguished in Systemic Functional Linguistics, and the data analysed are retrieved from parliamentary discourse and conversations corpora. The examination of conditional constructions and cases of insubordination in parallel offers new light on the characterization of if/si-constructions and their uses and functions in interaction.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures
  • List of tables
  • 1 Introduction
  • 1.1 Research questions
  • 1.2 Overview of the book
  • 2. Literature review and theoretical framework
  • 2.1 Literature review
  • 2.1.1 Prior research on conditional constructions
  • 2.1.1.1 Classical approaches to conditionals
  • 2.1.1.2 Research on conditionals from a functional-pragmatic perspective
  • 2.1.1.3 Research on conditionals from a contrastive perspective
  • 2.1.1.4 Research on conditionals from a corpus-based perspective
  • 2.1.2 Prior research on insubordination
  • 2.1.2.1 Defining insubordination
  • 2.1.2.2 The development of insubordination
  • 2.1.2.3 A focus on insubordination in English, French and Spanish
  • 2.2 Theoretical framework
  • 3. Corpora and methodology
  • 3.1 Biber’s (1988) multi-dimensional model of register analysis
  • 3.2 Corpora of parliamentary discourse
  • 3.2.1 Description of the corpora
  • 3.2.2 Process of data extraction
  • 3.3 Corpora of conversations
  • 3.3.1 Description of the corpora
  • 3.3.2 Process of data extraction
  • 4. Case studies
  • 4.1 Conditional subordination
  • 4.1.1 Case study I: parliamentary discourse
  • 4.1.1.1 Variables examined for the analysis of conditionals in parliament
  • 4.1.1.2 Metafunction
  • 4.1.1.3 Degree of likelihood
  • 4.1.1.4 Position
  • 4.1.1.5 Markedness of the apodosis
  • 4.1.1.6 Modal in the apodosis
  • 4.1.1.7 Summary and conclusions from parliamentary discourse
  • 4.1.2 Case study II: conversations
  • 4.1.2.1 Variables examined for the analysis of conditionals in conversation
  • 4.1.2.2 Metafunction
  • 4.1.2.2.1 A focus on interpersonal conditionals
  • 4.1.2.3 Degree of likelihood
  • 4.1.2.4 Position
  • 4.1.2.5 Markedness of the apodosis
  • 4.1.2.6 Modal in the apodosis
  • 4.1.2.7 Summary and conclusions from conversation
  • 4.1.3 Interim discussion: Cross-register results
  • 4.2 Insubordination
  • 4.2.1 Case study III: insubordination
  • 4.2.1.1 Discourse functions
  • 4.2.1.1.1 Requests
  • 4.2.1.1.2 Suggestions
  • 4.2.1.1.3 Offers
  • 4.2.1.1.4 Wishes
  • 4.2.1.1.5 Assertions/exclamations
  • 4.2.1.1.6 Complaints
  • 4.2.1.2 Summary and conclusions from insubordination
  • 5. General discussion and conclusions
  • 5.1 Comparing the functional-pragmatic properties of conditionals and insubordinate if/si-clauses
  • 5.2 If/si-constructions and pragmaticalization
  • 5.3 If/si-constructions and decategorialization
  • 5.4 Summary and concluding remarks
  • 6. Suggestions for further research
  • References
  • Index
  • Series index

List of figures

Fig. 1.Registers along Dimension 1 (based on Conrad and Biber, 2001: 27)

Fig. 2.Registers along Dimension 2 (based on Conrad and Biber, 2001: 32)

Fig. 3.Registers along Dimension 3 (based on Conrad and Biber, 2001: 34)

Fig. 4.Registers along Dimension 4 (based on Conrad and Biber, 2001: 36)

Fig. 5.Registers along Dimnesion 5 (based on Conrad and Biber, 2001: 38)

Fig. 6.Interface of the British Parliament Hansard Corpus

Fig. 7.Interface of AntConc

Fig. 8.ICECUP interface. Parse tree of a conditional in ICE-GB

Fig. 9.CONTEXTES interface

Fig. 10.Metafunctions of conditionals in parliament, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 11.Degree of likelihood of the condition in parliament, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 12.Position of the if/si-clause in parliament, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 13.Modal verbs in apodoses of English ideational and interpersonal conditionals in parliament, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 14.Metafunctions of conditionals in conversation, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 15.Stance and engagement across interpersonal subfunctions

Fig. 16.Degree of likelihood of the condition in conversation, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

←13 | 14→

Fig. 17.Position of the if/si-clause in conversation, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 18.Modal verbs in apodoses of English ideational and interpersonal conditionals in conversation, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 19.Ideational and interpersonal conditionals. Cross-register results, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 20.Markedness of the apodosis. Cross-register results, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 21.Directive and non-directive insubordinate clauses in English and Spanish, using 95 % Wilson confidence intervals

Fig. 22.The cline of pragmaticalization of if/si-constructions

←14 | 15→

List of tables

Tab. 1.Summary of terminological labels proposed by different authors according to the degree of probability of the condition

Tab. 2.The diachronic pathway from subordination to insubordination (Evans, 2007: 370)

Tab. 3.Dimensions of variation, based on Biber (1988) and Conrad and Biber (2001)

Tab. 4.Structure of the spoken component of ICE-GB

Tab. 5.Structure of C-ORAL-ROM

Tab. 6.Frequency of if and si in parliamentary discourse

Tab. 7.Variables coded for the analysis of conditionals in parliament

Tab. 8.Metafunctions of conditionals in parliament

Tab. 9.Degree of likelihood of the condition in parliament

Tab. 10.Relation between degree of likelihood and metafunction in parliament

Tab. 11.Position of the if/si-clause in the conditional construction in parliament

Tab. 12.Relation between position and metafunction in parliament

Tab. 13.Modal verbs in the apodoses of conditionals in parliament

Tab. 14.Frequency of if and si in conversation

Tab. 15.Variables coded for the analysis of conditionals in conversation

Tab. 16.Metafunctions of conditionals in conversation

Tab. 17.Interpersonal subfunctions of conditionals in conversation

Tab. 18.Stance and engagement in interpersonal conditionals

Tab. 19.Degree of likelihood of the condition in conversation

←15 | 16→

Tab. 20.Relation between degree of likelihood and metafunction in conversation

Tab. 21.Position of the if/si-clause in the conditional construction in conversation

Tab. 22.Relation between position and metafunction in conversation

Tab. 23.Relation between position and interpersonal subfunction in conversation

Tab. 24.Markedness of the apodosis in conversation

Tab. 25.Modal verbs in the apodoses of conditionals in conversation

Tab. 26.Frequency of insubordinate if/si-clauses in conversation

Tab. 27.Frequency of insubordinate clauses and interpersonal conditionals

Tab. 28.Types of directives according to agent and beneficiary of the future action

Tab. 29.Discourse functions of insubordinate if/si-clauses in English, French and Spanish

←16 | 17→

1 Introduction

This book explores constructions introduced by if in English and their equivalents introduced by si, in French and Spanish, based on empirical data retrieved from spoken discourse. The constructions selected for analysis primarily express conditional meaning, as in (1) to (3) below.

(1)So if I get the job I’ll rent for a while until the house prices pick up (ICE-GB:S1A-019 #277:1:C)

(2)Si un jour on s’en sent pas capable / on l’ouvre pas hein / le magasin (C-ORAL-ROM, ffamdl102) 1
‘If one day we don’t feel capable, we don’t open it, the shop’

(3)Si no me gustan / las vendo (C-ORAL-ROM efamdl02)
‘If I don’t like them, I sell them’

Details

Pages
254
ISBN (PDF)
9783034343312
ISBN (ePUB)
9783034343329
ISBN (MOBI)
9783034343336
ISBN (Hardcover)
9783034342209
Language
English
Publication date
2021 (August)
Published
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2021. 254 pp., 22 fig. b/w, 29 tables.

Biographical notes

Cristina Lastres‐López (Author)

Cristina Lastres-López holds a PhD in advanced English studies (linguistics) from the University of Santiago de Compostela. Prior to that, she obtained a BA in English language and literature from the University of Santiago de Compostela and an MA in English linguistics from University College London. She currently works at the University of Seville and is a member of the research unit for Variation, Linguistic Change and Grammaticalization of the University of Santiago de Compostela. Her research interests include corpus linguistics, contrastive linguistics, grammar and pragmatics.

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Title: From subordination to insubordination