Article published in:Quotatives: Cross-linguistic and cross-disciplinary perspectives
Edited by Isabelle Buchstaller and Ingrid van Alphen
[Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Research 15] 2012
► pp. 231–258
The pragmatic function of this is + speaker and other quotatives in London adolescent speech
This chapter is an investigation of an innovation in the quotative system in London and it addresses the question of how and why such innovations emerge. The paper compares and contrasts the (socio-)linguistic profile and discourse functions of be like and the even newer this is + speaker using a combination of variationist quantitative methods and discourse analytic qualitative methods. It is argued that the alternation of different quotatives can be seen as a performance feature and that new quotatives fulfil the pragmatic function of highlighting a particularly dramatic peak in performed narratives. In London be like is behaving more like lexical verbs such as say, leaving a gap in the system for the emergence of the innovative this is + speaker. In many ways, this new competitor parallels be like when it was first reported, strengthening the argument that new quotatives have a specific role in the discourse.
Published online: 01 May 2012
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