Idioma: Español
Fecha: Subida: 2021-04-14T00:00:00+02:00
Duración: 25m 21s
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‘Yeah, No’ in Irish English fiction: Pragmatic functions and indexicality of a ‘new’ pragmatic (...)

Ana Maria Terrazas-Calero (University of Limerick)


Discourse-Pragmatic Markers (DPMs) are multifunctional items that express linguistic
properties while also conveying information about “the cognitive, expressive, social and
textual competence” of the speakers and the social context in which they are being used
(Schiffrin 2001: 67). As such, Amador-Moreno (2005) posits their value as key indexes
of speaker identity when portrayed in literature. Despite this valuable, multifunctional
nature, these innovatory linguistic items tend to draw very polarizing reactions. That is
the case of the upcoming DPM: Yeah, No.
The use of YN has been met with very different reactions among speakers. On the one
hand, non-specialist language ‘guardians’ and commentators have labeled it a “bad
speech habit” (Eunson 2015) that needs terminating, and listed it as one of “22 common
phrases we all secretly hate”. On the other hand, New Zealanders and Australians eagerly
use it as a badge of regional identity, printing it onto stickers, mugs, T-shirts, and other
souvenir-type items all of which can easily be found and purchased online.
This largely under-researched DPM first attracted academic attention in Australia, where
Burridge and Florey (2002) noticed its pragmatic versatility in a corpus of spoken
conversations. While they found no gender bias, they observed a preference among
speakers between the ages of 35-49. In a subsequent study, Moore (2007) noticed that by
2007, YN seemed to have become more popular among young, Australian male speakers
(aged 20-30). Despite its unclear origin, its use has also been observed in other varieties
of English (see Libermann’s (2008) non-academic documentation in AmE, or Wong and
Krueger (2018) for BrE), where it remains largely unexplored. Irish English (IrE) is one
of the varieties where its use has received little attention, despite showing signs of a
marked increase in contemporary fiction (Terrazas-Calero and Amador-Moreno 2019).
Given the dearth of knowledge regarding this DPM in Ireland, this paper examines
longitudinally the use and development of yeah, no taking Paul Howard’s Ross
O’Carroll-Kelly (RO’CK) series of humorous, satirical and critically-acclaimed novels
as representative of spoken discourse in fiction. The paper uses a corpus of 12 RO’CK
novels, comprising ca. 1, 5 million words to study the use of YN in contemporary IrE in
depth. Quantitative and qualitative corpus linguistics, corpus stylistics, and corpus
pragmatics analyses will be conducted to explore the form, use, (speaker) identity
indexical value (i.e. age, gender, class, location), and functional range (which will be
explored using manual pragmatic tagging) of this DPM. In addition, the paper identifies
certain pragmatic developments that have occurred in the span of 11 years covered by the
books, such as the possibility to use it, not only as a pragmatically face-saving device, but
also as a face-threatening one. The findings will be contrasted against two corpora of real,
spoken language, namely the Limerick Corpus of Irish English and BNC2014, to check
the validity of the fictional representation. Finally, the paper argues that Howard’s
fictional portrayal of YN usage in the books represents a conscious authorial effort at
recreating the spontaneity of every-day Dublin English orality in text.


Congreso Cilc 2021


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Serie: CILC2021: Discurso, análisis literario y corpus / Discourse, literary analysis and corpora (+información)