Discourse markers in spoken English: a corpus study of native speakers and Chinese non-native speakers

Huang, Lan Fen (2011). Discourse markers in spoken English: a corpus study of native speakers and Chinese non-native speakers. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis explores the use of discourse markers (DMs) in the speech of Chinese non-native speakers (NNSs) of English and native speakers (NSs), using corpus methodologies, the 'Linear Unit Grammar' analysis (Sinclair and Mauranen 2006) and text-based analyses. It reports that the DMs for analysis, 'like', 'oh', 'well', 'you know', 'I mean', 'you see', 'I think' and 'now', occur more frequently in the dialogic genres than in the monologic genres extracted from the three corpora, SECCL, MICASE and ICE-GB. The co-occurrence of DMs is taken as evidence to determine the categories for discussion with the suggested functions being secondary interpretations. Surprisingly, there are similarities in the use of DMs between Chinese NNSs and NSs. For the differences, some require NSs to become more tolerant and inclusive of the versions of English and some require pedagogical interventions for the Chinese NNSs. This thesis demonstrates that the use of DMs correlates with the genre, context, type of activity and identity of the speaker. All such factors affect the speakers' choice of a DM to use when giving priority to discourse organisation, fluency, the engagement of the listeners, the construction of the speaker‟s persona and the creation of solidarity.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of English Literature
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Ministry of Education, Republic of China, Taiwan
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GT Manners and customs
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PI Oriental languages and literatures
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/2969


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