The emergence of Hebrew loydea / loydat (‘I dunno masc/fem’) from interaction

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


A general approach to discourse markers is sketched through an analysis which approaches grammar as emerging in interaction and coming into being through mundane language use (Hopper 1987, 2011). The study continues work on mental verb constructions in a variety of languages. By analyzing all 191 tokens of the (subj)-neg-pred construction of the Hebrew mental verb yada (‘know’) employed throughout audio-recordings of over 7.5 hours of Hebrew casual interactional data, I trace the route of this construction’s gravitation towards the discourse marker loydea / loydat (‘I dunno masc/fem’). I argue that employment of the construction is highly formulaic, not necessarily epistemic, and that its uses are closely tied to its prosodic, morphophonological and syntactic properties, to its position within the ongoing turn and sequence, and to the particular activities in which participants engage in interaction. Based on a mostly synchronic analysis of the data, I suggest two grammaticization paths leading to employment of this construction as a discourse marker. This is then supported with some diachronic evidence. The study of Hebrew loydea / loydat (‘I dunno masc/fem’) shows that the boundaries between the three categories of discourse marker, pragmatic marker, and modal particle can be rather blurred.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPragmatic Markers, Discourse Markers and Modal Particles
Subtitle of host publicationNew perspectives
EditorsChiara Fedriani, Andrea Sansó
Place of PublicationAmsterdam/Philadelphia
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9789027265494
ISBN (Print)9789027259516
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameStudies in Language Companion Series
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
ISSN (Print)0165-7763


Dive into the research topics of 'The emergence of Hebrew loydea / loydat (‘I dunno masc/fem’) from interaction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this