Pragmatic Markers and Sociolinguistic Variation

A relevance-theoretic approach to the language of adolescents

| University of Bergen
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027251039 (Eur) | EUR 120.00
ISBN 9781588110183 (USA) | USD 180.00
 
e-Book
ISBN 9789027298140 | EUR 120.00 | USD 180.00
 
This book combines theoretical work in linguistic pragmatics and sociolinguistics with empirical work based on a corpus of London adolescent conversation. It makes a general contribution to the study of pragmatic markers, as it proposes an analytical model that involves notions such as subjectivity, interactional and textual capacity, and the distinction between contextual alignment/divergence. These notions are defined according to how information contained in an utterance interacts with the cognitive environment of the hearer. Moreover, the model captures the diachronic development of markers from lexical items via processes of grammaticalisation, arguing that markerhood may be viewed as a gradient phenomenon.
The empirical work concerns the use of like as a marker, as well as a characteristic use of two originally interrogative forms, innit and is it, which are used as attitudinal markers throughout the inflectional paradigm, despite the fact that they contain a third person singular neuter pronoun. The author provides an in-depth analysis of these features in terms of pragmatic functions, diachronic development and sociolinguistic variation, thus adding support to the hypothesis that adolescents play an important role in language variation and change.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 84]  2001.  ix, 352 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
ix
1. General introduction
1
2. Theoretical background
29
3. COLT and the BNC
83
4. Invariant tags and follow-ups
97
5. The pragmatic marker like
209
6. Pragmatic aspects of teenage and adult conversation
301
Notes
311
References
321
Appendix
341
Index
345
“Andersen’s work combines cognitive pragmatics (relevance theory) in an innovative way with empirical evidence of social variation in a corpus of spoken interaction and thus significantly enhances our understanding of the language of London adolescents. The book is written with exemplary clarity and will have a decisive impact on the future development of both relevance theory and sociolinguistic variability studies.”
“What I found particularly gratifying in reading this pragmatic study of age-specific language variation is Andersen’s ability to combine his knowledge of grammaticalisation theory and Relevance theory with an
uncompromising corpus-linguistic approach — a truly rare kind of integration of strands in linguistic research which tend to be kept apart. In my opinion this book is a must for students of the language-thought and
language-context relations as well as for discourse analysts and
sociolinguists of a variationist bent.”
“This book makes a very important contribution to our knowledge of both adolescent language in general and pragmatic markers in English in particular. It takes an unusually sensitive approach to the analysis of spoken English in its interactional context, and is unique in combining insights from relevance theory and variationist theory. These analytic frameworks enable Andersen to give an exceptionally full and detailed
analysis of “innit” / “is it” and “like”, and to advance our understanding of these features and their function in spoken English. In particular, Andersen
integrates the many discourse functions of “like” into a single unified account which is to my mind entirely plausible. This book is elegantly written and brimming with original ideas.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  00049411