We examine the following hypotheses:
- The discursive value of (non-)ordinariness does not only depend on the production format, but also on the reception format.
- The discursive construction of (non-)ordinariness is used strategically to address the premise of accountability of communicative action in mediated public talk.
- When constructed by ordinary speakers, ordinariness is used strategically as a way of distancing from non-ordinary political agents and demanding accountability from them; when constructed by non-ordinary speakers, ordinariness is interpreted by ordinary speakers as non-ordinary speakers’ staging social accountability in general and political accountability in particular, as well as exercising power through life-world-experience anchored accounts.
- Speech communities vary in terms of (a) the conceptualization of (non-) ordinariness, (b) contexts whereby (non-)ordinariness is made an object of talk, (c) the array of discursive strategies and strategy-specific linguistic constructions, and (d) the degrees of explicitness and redundancy underlying the foregrounding of ordinariness.
The approach adopted in the project is anchored in discourse pragmatics, a framework informed by pragmatics, interactional sociolinguistics, ethnomethodology, positioning theory and functional approaches to discourse – and its premises of language as a socially situated form, indexicality of communicative action, intentionality of communicative action and cooperation.
The results can be applied to language competence and discourse competence in general, but also to particular discursive formats and their perlocutionary effects, specifically to the understanding of interactional positioning and the indexing of communicative, social and political accountability.