When we means you: the social meaning of English pseudo-inclusive personal pronouns

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter uses qualitative and quantitative analysis of interactions collected in a New Zealand rugby team to analyse the way in which pronominal choice impacts upon the social dynamics of leadership discourse. In particular, the pseudo-inclusive first person plural pronoun is examined in terms of its solidarity enhancing effect and mitigation of leadership-focused speech acts. Pronominal use is analysed with reference to the sociolinguistic concept of stance alignment and how this can mitigate potential face-threat. The discussion considers that by including themselves with the addressees of an interaction, leaders can attenuate the illocutionary force of speech acts such as directives and criticism, whilst maximising the directness of their expression, and goes on to question the social function of pseudo-inclusive compliments.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe social dynamics of pronominal systems
    Subtitle of host publicationa comparative approach
    EditorsPaul Bouissac
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)9789027262547
    ISBN (Print)9789027203168
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

    Publication series

    NamePragmatics & Beyond New Series
    PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
    ISSN (Print)0922-842X


    • clusivity
    • leadership
    • speech acts
    • stance
    • illocutionary force
    • Rugby Union
    • sport
    • pronouns


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