|Author(s)||Yael Maschler, Gonen Dori-Hacohen|
|Title||Constructing a genre: Hebrew ('ani) lo yode'a / lo yoda'at ‘(I) don’t know’ on Israeli political radio phone-ins|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Mental verb constructions, affective and epistemic stance, hedging, self-repair, avoidance strategies, Hebrew|
|Journal||Text & Talk|
We explore employment of the Hebrew construction ('ani) lo yode'a / lo yoda'at (lit ‘[I] not m/f-sg.know’), roughly equivalent to English ‘I don’t know’, by callers and hosts in 80 interactions on Israeli political radio phone-in programs, as compared with its functions in casual conversation. Five uses were attested in the corpus of radio phone-ins and correlated with the syntactic form of complementation (if available) for each token of the construction: (i) expressing literal lack of knowledge; (ii) expressing epistemic stance of uncertainty / hedging; (iii) gaining cognitive processing time in the midst of self-repair; (iv) expressing affective stance of contempt or criticism; and (v) avoidance strategies. While most of these uses are common to both genres, some are unattested in casual conversation. By exploring the functions of the ('ani) lo yode'a / lo yoda'at construction and their distribution according to institutional role, the study (i) sheds further light on the use of the construction and its evolvement through use; and (ii) shows how hosts and callers exploit this specific construction in ways that establish the Israeli political radio phone-in institutional genre.