But, you see, the problem is … Perception verbs in courtroom talk: Focus on you see

  • 1 Jagiellonian University, , Poland


This article seeks to contribute to the body of research on the use of perception verbs in interaction and, more specifically, to enhance the understanding of how participants in courtroom proceedings exploit you see to manage the discourse as it unfolds and to negotiate stance. Against the background of earlier work on vision words in interaction, the study looks at parenthetical and non-parenthetical you see to reveal both perceptual and cognitive uses, and to identify their local pragmatic effect. As the analysis indicates, in the data at hand, lexical you see is more readily recruited than non-lexical you see, and it is found chiefly in grammatical and declarative questions. At the same time, it is the clause-initial you see that visibly brings out the epistemic tensions between the speakers and serves to contest the addressee’s position. The study corroborates the claim that you see is an argumentative marker, whose meaning (and force) depends on its formal properties (position, complementation) and the relationship between the speakers.

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