Beyond triadic communication : A three-dimensional conceptual space for modelling intersubjectivity
Coordinating different viewpoints is an essential part of human interaction. Languages have evolved conventional ways of supporting this process: many linguistic items are somehow involved in viewpoint management, ranging from morphological elements and lexical units to grammatical constructions and narrative patterns. In this paper we propose a conceptual model for analysing how particular instances (or combinations) of such linguistic items can be used to coordinate the viewpoints of signallers, addressees, and third parties involved in an interaction event. In essence, our model augments Langacker’s (1987) “viewing arrangement” through the addition of a third dimension to the existing two. We discuss the details of our model using a range of examples from spoken discourse, newspaper articles, and literary fiction, and end by placing it in broader discussions on human social cognition.