Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/34325
Title: Separating Meaning and Function: A Relevance-Theoretic Analysis of Discourse Particles in Colloquial Singapore English (CSE)
Authors: LEE JUNWEN
Keywords: Discourse particles, Relevance theory, Singapore English, Intonation, Procedural meaning, Pragmatic processing
Issue Date: 20-Jan-2012
Source: LEE JUNWEN (2012-01-20). Separating Meaning and Function: A Relevance-Theoretic Analysis of Discourse Particles in Colloquial Singapore English (CSE). ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis analyses three Colloquial Singapore English (CSE) particles ? <i>lor</i>, <i>lah</i>, and <i>hor</i> ? using the framework of relevance theory. Maintaining a distinction between pragmatic function and semantic meaning, I characterise the particles as signposts or instructions that the hearer uses to guide her understanding of the speaker?s utterances. The effect of intonation on the particles is also discussed, and I propose that when more than one pronunciation is available, the particle?s intonation contour serves as a signal for the utterance?s modality, e.g. a falling tone will mark a declarative/imperative while a rising tone will mark an interrogative. The different pragmatic functions commonly attributed to each particle can thus be explained as emergent results from the interaction between its unitary semantic meaning and the utterance?s modality as signalled by the particle?s pitch contour, as the hearer takes different inferential routes in trying to make sense of the speaker.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/34325
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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