Notes Antic Disposition

Social Signaling in Connective Words

Prepositions and other structural components of grammar govern more than just the way that we express relationships between objects and locations in a sentence. These structural words and turns of phrase are also social signals that carry key information about the relationship between the parties involved in a discussion.

Chris Diehl provides an example from an exchange of emails inside Enron that shows clearly how the subordinate role of the writer can be determined from the particular way that they situate information in sentences.