My selves and I: identity markers in work meeting talk

Alessandra Fasulo, C. Zucchermaglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper is concerned with the indexical meaning of the pronoun ‘I’, in its marked use, in Italian work-meeting conversation. The hypothesis driving the study is that, in a context in which situated identities are manifold, marking the pronoun is a device to highlight the most official of one's selves, thus changing the status of the utterance containing the marker. A typology of I-marked utterances is presented and the relative frequency of use is shown to vary with the organizational role of the participants. Detailed analysis of epistemic and performative I-marked utterances shows how role-identities are variously manipulated and mitigated through conversational devices such as self-repair, word delay, and metaphorical work. The discussion highlights how indexical meaning is a property of situated conversational practices and how marked pronouns can foreground selected identities in the cluster of selves that members of a work group can present to each other.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1144
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2002


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