Article in:Functions of Language: Online-First Articles
Interpersonal functions of interjections
A Systemic Functional perspective
Motivated by the frequent omission of interjections from film subtitles, this study investigates the interpersonal functions of interjections, and seeks to disentangle their meaning relations. Based on the analysis of interjections from six English language films under the theoretical framework of Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), the study primarily classifies the functions of interjections in terms of whether the interjections independently realize moves in exchange. The function of the interjection which realizes a move on its own is described at the semantic stratum in terms of a minor speech function, and the function of the interjection which realizes a move together with a clause is described at the lexicogrammatical stratum in terms of an optional clausal function referred to as a ‘latched function’. The study highlights the distinction between latched functions and their agnate minor speech functions, and offers more delicate accounts of the functions of interjections. It proposes a system network of the minor speech functions, which can facilitate a more systematic analysis of the functions realized by interjections. This study contributes to the SFL description of English interjections, and can offer methodological insights into further research on the functionality of interjections.
Published online: 06 July 2020
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