Edited by Kate Beeching, Chiara Ghezzi and Piera Molinelli
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 292] 2018
► pp. 177–195
Chapter 8. Positioning of self in interaction
Adolescents’ use of attention-getters
Look, listen, come on, excuse me are examples of imperatives of verbs which have developed into discourse markers with an attention-getting function. It is shown that the functional markers are used by adolescents to position themselves in relation to what is said and other participants in the conversation in order to mark their disalignment with the norms of adult society. In the adolescents’ world impoliteness is the norm associated with creating a positive self-image of the speakers. Attention-getters are also an important part of how adolescents perform as tellers of narratives or anecdotes. Adolescents use attention-getters for irony and ‘mock politeness’ and in joking competitive exchanges.