Sort of in Australian English: The elasticity of a pragmatic marker
AffiliationUniversity of Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) (JM)
La Trobe University (Victoria, Australia) (CPW)
University of Derby (CPW)
University of New South Wales, Canberra (A.C.T, Australia) (EEFM)
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AbstractThis 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 functions.
CitationMulder, J., Penry Williams, C. and, Moore, E. E. F. (2019) 'Sort of in Australian English: The elasticity of a pragmatic marker', Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 29(1), pp. 9–32. DOI: 10.1075/japc.00019.mul.
JournalJournal of Asian Pacific Communication