Erin Moore | UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy, Australia
This study examines the pragmatic functions of sort of in Australian English (AuE), utilising
discourse from 12 months of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s television program Q&A. It explores the
frequency of sort of uses in context with a focus on multifunctionality. Uses are classified in a data-based
schema which synthesises the previously described pragmatic functions of sort of and locates these within Zhang’s (2015) Elastic Language framework. The article thus provides an understanding of
the pragmatic functions of sort of in public discussion contexts within AuE, arguing, most notably, that
sort of performs five of Zhang’s six functions, rather than just the two previously reported, and that in
accounting for the complex uses of this pragmatic marker, a wider range of subtypes needs to be distinguished within two of the
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Cited by 1 other publications
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