„Vor allem – da erste Gedanke is ja oft auch gar nicht so gmeint“ Operatoren zur Charakterisierung des kommunikativen und mentalen Status von Äußerungen im sozialen Raum
This paper investigates discursive structures of spoken language in formal and informal communication settings (almost 62 hours of recorded time) of urban speakers in Austria’s two biggest cities Vienna and Graz and their surroundings. We focus on so-called bipartite “Operator-Skopus-Strukturen” (‘operator-scope-structures’), examining their pragmatic and discourse organising function within specific conversational situations. Our main aim is to offer in-depth analyses of these structures by characterising the mental and communicative status of such utterances. Starting out with a discussion of characteristics of spoken language research, especially by arguing for the replacement of the grammatical concept of sentences with the interactional concept of turn-constructional units, we address the phenomenon of discourse markers and Operator-Skopus-Strukturen in particular. This is followed by the description of our data set and the subsequent analyses and discussion of the selected examples. According to our findings, Operator-Skopus-Strukturen appear in both conversational settings and among all groups of speakers. We demonstrate that all speakers use the structures with the same pragmatic function of giving information to their conversation partner on how to interpret and understand the message behind the utterance. Within this scope, the speaker’s intention can vary depending on the conversation partner, the topic of the conversation or the situation.