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Nonnative Speakers' Uses of "Yeah" and "Kin'of" as/in Corrective Actions

  • The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea
  • Abbr : 사회언어학
  • 2008, 16(1), pp.25-47
  • Publisher : The Sociolinguistic Society Of Korea
  • Research Area : Humanities > Linguistics

Kim Jeongyeon 1

1울산과학기술대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper examines two English discourse markers, "yeah" and "kin'of," in two nonnative speakers' turns of voluntary corrective actions. From a conversation analytic perspective, the two items are examined in terms of their functional properties during the nonnative speakers' turns. Two nonnative English speaking graduate students, working as teaching assistants in an engineering lab of an American university, participated in the study. The analysis of the dyadic interaction between the nonnative speakers and the native English speaking undergraduate students revealed that the nonnative speakers used "yeah" and "kin'of" in a significantly different manner from the target language norms. In their endeavor to create a shared meaning with their students they often engaged in word- and structure searches, during which they used the discourse markers as the fillers to a possible void in talk. An examination of the spatial location and functional properties of the items also revealed that the markers were more rule-governed in the nonnative speakers’ talk than other hesitation markers. The findings indicate the importance of examining the discourse functions of the markers in the discussion of nonnativeness.

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