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Lecture | LUCL Colloquium 2023-2024

Two Ways of Coding: Sentence Grammar vs. Interactive Grammar

Thursday 16 November 2023
LUCL Colloquium - Lunch Series '23/'24
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden
Academy Building - Faculty of Law room


The main concern of the presentation is with the distinction between two contrasting modes of structuring linguistic discourse. One mode, represented by sentence grammar, organized in a propositional format and having an analytic organization, focuses on conceptual communication about the world. The second mode, represented by interactive grammar, has a holophrastic organization and a focus on social communication. Having been treated in previous work as a fairly marginal part of language, interactive grammar is described as a distinct category that contrasts with sentence grammar both in its functions and its structural behavior (Heine 2023).

The distinction between two grammars exhibits, on the one hand, correlations with observations made in neurolinguistic studies on differential activity in the two hemispheres of the human brain. On the other hand, there are also noteworthy parallels to a similar distinction made in social psychology between two types or systems of reasoning and judgment. The conclusion drawn in the presentation is that the two grammars have complementary functions and both are needed for successful communication.

Heine, Bernd 2023. The Grammar of Interactives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.


You can register for the colloquium via this link. The deadline is the 6 November. Everbody is welcome, but if you would like to have lunch, you must register!

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