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The Building Blocks of Talk-in-interaction

In this part of the grammar our focus is the grammatical forms of talk-in-interaction. In the menu on the left you will find types of grammatical forms, from the smallest forms to the largest. Under each type, there are entries which describe specific forms and gives examples of their use.

Forms is one of the two main entrances to our grammar (the other is Functions). We have organized the list below in such a way that you will find the smallest units at the top, and the progressively larger units further down. This type of division is similar to the one found in other grammars, except for the fact that talk-in-interaction contains some types of units which are not always accounted for in grammars, e.g. discourse units, other expressions (non-phonic elements, e.g., headnods) and repetitions.

Under each entry, you will find a description of the individual grammatical phenomenon in talk-in-interaction, and the corresponding sub-entries. We are working on adding more entries, and continuously updating the existing ones, so that in the end we have a complete description of all of the units of conversation.

We proceed in a structuralist fashion, from the smallest phenomena to the largest, but, in addition to that, we have taken into account the status that the different units have in a conversation. Firstly, we have assessed if the unit can stand alone, that is, if it can function as a turn-unit or not.

A turn-unit is something which can act as an individual contribution to the conversation. We differentiate between lexical units (see Word Classes), phrasal units (see Phrases), sentences and larger units (see Discourse Units).