Yael Maschler

Yael Maschler
University of Haifa | haifa · Department of Hebrew Language

PhD

About

63
Publications
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Introduction
Yael Maschler teaches Interactional Linguistics, Discourse and Grammar, Pragmatics, Syntax of spoken languages, and Sociolinguistics at the University of Haifa, Israel. Her recent project, funded by the Israel Science Foundation, "From Emergent Complex Syntax to Discourse Markerhood: The Hebrew Grammar-Body Interface in a Cross-Language Comparison", is conducted as an international consortium with Jan Lindström (Helsinki), Simona Pekarek Doehler (Neuchâtel), and Leelo Keevallik (Linköping).

Publications

Publications (63)
Chapter
This chapter reviews three influential perspectives in research on discourse markers: Schiffrin's discourse perspective, Fraser's pragmatic approach, and Maschler's functional interactional linguistics perspective. These three approaches are compared with respect to the ways they account for the sources of discourse markers, metalanguage, prosody,...
Book
This volume explores how emergent patterns of complex syntax – that is, syntactic structures beyond a simple clause – relate to the local contingencies of action formation in social interaction. It examines both the on-line emergence of clause-combining patterns as they are ‘patched together’ on the fly, as well as their routinization and sedimenta...
Article
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In this study, we set out to shed light on cross-linguistic consistencies in the grammaticization of projecting constructions and on the interface of embodied conduct and complex syntax. We present a multimodal interactional linguistic analysis of Hebrew clauses opening with ma she-'what that' and French clauses opening with ce que 'it that' in wha...
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This study explores all Hebrew clauses opening with ma she- ‘what that’ in what traditionally have been considered pseudo-clefts in an 11-hour audio-recorded corpus of ordinary spoken discourse. Employing interactional linguistic methodology we argue that, rather than being viewed as the initial part of a bi-clausal complex-syntax structure, the ma...
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We explore two stance-taking patterns in casual Hebrew conversation involving ya′ani / ya′anu , a discourse marker originating in colloquial Arabic. In the first, ya ′ani / ya ′anu , the same as Arabic yaʕni (lit. ‘it means’), frames reformulations of prior discourse serving to enhance interpersonal involvement and mutuality regarding the interlocu...
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This study examines the on-line emergence of insubordinate clauses in Hebrew conversation as constrained by local interactional contingencies, questioning traditional notions of grammatical ‘subordination’ and contributing to conceptions of grammar as a locally sensitive, temporally unfolding resource for social interaction. The clauses examined ar...
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We explore employment of the Hebrew construction ('ani) lo yode'a / lo yoda'at (lit. ‘(I) not M/F-SG.know’), roughly equivalent to English ‘I don’t know’, by callers and hosts in 80 interactions on Israeli political radio phone-in programs, as compared with its functions in casual conversation. Five uses were attested in the corpus of radio-phone-i...
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Employing interactional linguistic methodology (Selting and Couper-Kuhlen 2001) and relying on synchronic as well as on some diachronic evidence, I trace two grammaticization paths (Hopper 1987) from a matrix clause to a prototypical discourse marker (Maschler 2009) for the Hebrew construction ('ani) lo yode'a/yoda'at ‘(I) don’t know MASC/FEM’. Bas...
Article
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In this study we explore patterns of same-turn self-repair within the word, across ten typologically and areally diverse languages. We find universal processes emerging through language-specific resources, namely: recycling is used to delay a next item due, while replacement is used to replace an inappropriate item. For example, most of our languag...
Article
In this introduction to the special issue on ‘Grammar and negative epistemics in talk-in-interaction’ we discuss the current state of research on the use of negative mental verb constructions such as I don’t know, I don’t understand, I don’t remember in social interaction. We scrutinize, in a cross-linguistic perspective, the grammatical and intera...
Article
This study focuses on the Hebrew negative subject + predicate construction ˈani lo mevin/a (lit. ‘I not understand.sg.m/f’, ‘I don’t understand’) in a corpus of over 11 hours of casual conversation. Taking an interactional linguistics approach, we show that employment of this construction is highly fixed and formulaic and does not necessarily refer...
Article
Based on a synchronic analysis of all naxon ('right/true') tokens found throughout a corpus of casual spoken Hebrew discourse, we outline two continua of synchronic usage suggesting two functional itineraries for naxon. We show that naxon employed in non-appeal (Du Bois et al., 1992) intonation contours first evolved from a verb to an adjective and...
Chapter
Full-text available
This study explores the temporal dynamics of subject-predicate word order in the verbal clauses of spoken narrative Hebrew discourse. Contrary to previous claims (Glinert 1989), word order is shown to be rather fixed, with only 57 tokens of the VN s construction in a 6.5 hour corpus. They are employed to introduce a protagonist/referent, to index a...
Article
This study investigates the interaction between linear and dialogic syntax in Hebrew conversation. Analyzing resonance in divergently aligned contexts, we examine a particular dialogic modification of complex syntactic constructions: the embedding of one construction within the scope of another. Specifically, we examine a family of constructions wh...
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This article explores the properties of formulations in a corpus of Hebrew radio phone-ins by juxtaposing two theoretical frameworks: conversation analysis (CA) and dialogic syntax. This combination of frameworks is applied towards explaining an anomalous interaction in the collection - a caller's marked, unexpected rejection of a formulation of gi...
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The present analysis is grounded in a view of grammar emerging in interaction and coming into being through mundane language use. By analyzing Hebrew interactional data, I outline the continua of synchronic usage from literal constructions involving the verb yada (‘know’) to three projecting constructions of the discourse marker variety. The study...
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Previous studies of Hebrew nu investigate this discourse marker in casual conversation. The current study explores nu on Israeli political phone-in radio programs and broadens our knowledge both about the functions and grammaticization processes of discourse markers and about some particularities of Israeli political talk radio. The comparison to c...
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This paper presents the results of a quantitative analysis of recycle and replacement self-repairs in English, Hebrew and German. The analysis revealed patterns of similarities and differences across the languages. Beginning with patterns of difference, we found first that English and Hebrew speakers engage in simple recycling about two-thirds of t...
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This paper presents the results of a quantitative and qualitative analysis of Re-cycle, Replacement and Recycle & Replacement self-repairs in English, Hebrew and German. The analysis revealed patterns of similarities and differences across the languages. Beginning with patterns of difference, we found first that English and Hebrew speakers engage i...
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In this article, we investigate the functional itinerary followed by Hebrew be'emet (`really, actually, indeed', lit. `in truth'), through a close exploration of its synchronic uses in the contemporary spoken language. Since this utterance, derived from the noun 'emet (`truth'), is so profoundly tied in with the speaker's beliefs and attitudes towa...
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This study investigates the nonlexical item nu, borrowed into Hebrew from European languages, particularly Yiddish and Russian. The corpus examined consists of audio-recordings of thirty casual conversations between friends and family members. Nu was found to be the second-most prevalent interpersonal discourse marker (Maschler 1994a) in this datab...
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This study investigates the employment in modern Hebrew of an element having a lexical source involving comparison (k(e)-, ‘like’) that has proliferated over the past decade or so in Israel; ke[prime prime or minute]ilu ‘like’, lit. ‘as if’. The data come from audio recordings of casual conversations of college-educated Israelis with their fr...
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This study investigates the use of discourse markers in the "layering of voices "(Bakhtin,1981)in Israeli Hebrew talk in interaction. Previous studies employed a definition of discourse markers having both a semantic and a structural component. The components of this definition coincided in 94%of the cases found in the database. The remaining 6%sat...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates employment of two elements having a lexical source involving comparison (k(e)-, `like') which have greatly proliferated over the last decade or so in Israel, Hebrew Kaze (`like', lit.`like this') and ke'ilu (`like', lit. `as if'). Here I focus particularly on kaze and compare it to ke'ilu, which was investigated at length in...
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Provides an overview of the topic of this special issue of the journal--discourse markers in bilingual conversation. Introduces the studies included in the issue, which investigate discourse markers in bilingual conversation from a variety of perspectives. As a whole the articles document the phenomenon of language alternation at discourse markers...
Article
Thisstudy is a detailed voyage into the bilingualism of two Israeli HebrewEnglish bilinguals. I compare their patterns of discourse marker employment at two points in their lifetime, twelve years apart. The study thus adds a diachronic dimension to previous accounts of their bilingual linguistic behavior. Maschler (1997b) describes two patterns con...
Article
This study explores the process by which a new, bilingual grammar emerges in interaction in a corpus of over 20 hours of audiotaped Hebrew-English bilingual conversation. In this bilingual grammar, new grammaticizations (Hopper, 1987, 1988) are formed based on the principle of contrast between the two languages, so that juxtapositions of forms from...
Article
Ben-RafaelElizaer, Language, identity, and social division: The case of Israel. (Oxford studies in language contact.) Oxford: Clarendon, 1994. Pp. xi, 289. - Volume 25 Issue 3 - Yael Maschler
Article
A Classical Latin text, Ovid's metamorphosis about Echo, is analyzed using Givón's notion of topic continuity. The analysis reveals iconicity on the paradigmatic level of discourse. A problem encountered in applying Givón's iconicity principle is raised, and this leads to an alternative approach to iconicity in discourse, following Becker. This app...
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This study examines the functions of the bilingual discourse strategy of language alternation in the process of marking boundaries of continuous discourse. The focus is on switched discourse markers – employed, it is argued, to metalanguage the frame of the discourse. The corpus is comprised of audio recordings of over 20 hours of Hebrew-English bi...
Article
This study describes how two bilinguals in Israel, speaking urelated languages, English and Hebrew, draw on the strategy of language alternation to negotiate their disagreement. The study furthers our understanding of functions of bilingual discourse strategies by investigating the iconic strategy of mirroring various types of discourse contrast th...
Article
Full-text available
Working in the tradition of discourse analysis pioneered by Gumperz, this study extends the approach to bilingual conversation. Following other scholars in the field (e.g. Reddy, 1979; Harris, 1981; Becker, 1984c), I am calling into question the code metaphor that underlies much modern linguistics. I extend this criticism to work in ‘code-switching...
Thesis
This study describes how speakers who use two languages employ discourse strategies in conversation in order to construct meaning in language games involving two unrelated languages. The analysis is based on a close reading of an audio-recording of a naturally occurring 40 minute Hebrew-English bilingual conversation and on 20 hours of audio-taped...

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Projects (3)
Project
In this project we focus on actions that develop a routinized grammar characterizable as complex clauses and study how these actions and structures compare across the studied language communities. We examine patterns of clause-combining across four typologically distinct languages that are not often compared in the linguistic literature: Estonian (Finno-Ugric), French (Romance), Hebrew (Semitic), and Swedish (Germanic). We approach the issue by exploring sequences of action involving syntactic constructions traditionally known as subordinate clauses of the relative, complement, cleft, and pseudo-cleft variety, but also cases which are less easily categorized according to this traditional classification. The project is composed of (1) a Hebrew component and (2) a cross-linguistic one. Besides the unprecedented creation of a video-taped and carefully transcribed corpus of spoken Hebrew, the study has significance within at least the following realms: Clause-combining, Grammar-in-interaction, Universal tendencies in grammaticization, and Universal aspects of grammar use for interaction.
Project
In this project, we set out to identify the role complex syntax plays in the design and coordination of actions in a cross-linguistic perspective. We ask: How are linguistic constructions used by speakers to deal with the fundamental exigencies of social interaction such as projecting upcoming actions, repairing trouble, or responding to recipients’ actions or absence of these? How do related grammatical resources, with related (but often non-identical) structural properties, shape the way interaction is conducted in different languages? We address these questions with regard to a core component of complex syntax, namely clause-combining. The project comprises two components: (A) a French component, consisting of empirical analysis of clause-combining patterns in French talk-in-interaction; (B) a comparative component, consisting in cross-linguistic comparison carried out in collaboration with the Estonian, Hebrew, and Swedish projects. Based on the methodological apparatus of interactional linguistics, we analyze video recorded naturally occurring interactional data. Thereby, we work toward a holistic understanding of language as inextricably intertwined with other semiotic resources such as gesture, gaze and posture within the complex ecology of mundane social interaction.
Project
The scientific network "Interactional Linguistics", funded by the German Research Foundation, examines particular types of discourse particles – that is, words (and fixed phrases that behave similarly) that are used to organize, maintain, or regulate interaction between speaker and recipient – from a comparative-linguistic perspective. We focus on question tags (e.g. isn’t it?), response particles (which provide answers to questions, e.g. yes or exactly), and repair markers (e.g. uh or no) in a set of typologically diverse languages, namely, the spoken variants of Arabic, Czech, English, Finnish, French, Low and Standard German, Hebrew, Mandarin Chinese, Polish, Spanish, Turkish, and Yurakaré. The network takes the communicative tasks of questioning, responding, and initiating repair as a starting point. As these tasks prove to be similar across speech communities, and must be accomplished regularly by interlocutors, our focus on particles as specific linguistic means for performing these tasks provides ideal grounds for identifying potentially generic linguistic resources of human social interaction, and for exploring the extent of possible language-specific variation. More specifically, our aim is to explore i) the array of particles the different languages provide for these communicative tasks, and the different functions these particles have in each of the languages studied, ii) whether there are recurrent particles that are used cross-linguistically for these tasks, e.g. phonetic variants of huh as question tags, of hm as response particles, or of uh as repair markers, and iii) the relationships between the three different types of particles. On the one hand, question tags and response particles occur within the same sequential environment (question-response sequences), which allows for the investigation of possible co-occurrences of certain question tags and response particles across languages. On the other hand, comparing all three types of particles in each language, we will be able to explore relationships between them, e.g. regarding the existence of polyfunctional particles in the two different conversational systems, that is, sequence organization (question tags, response particles) and the repair system (repair markers). Through this approach, the network hopes to gain insights into how these types of discourse particles are organized across languages, and how they are used for accomplishing certain generic interactional tasks.