About his friend, how good she is, and this and that

general extenders in native Persian and non-native English discourse

Vahid Parvaresh, Manoochehr Tavangar, Abbas Eslami Rasekh, Dariush Izadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study sets out to investigate the structures and functions of general extenders (GEs) in native Persian and non-native English discourse. The data include two corpora of informal conversations collected by the participants themselves (circa 20 h). Both native and non-native corpora show that GEs are in the process of becoming more flexible with regard to their position. The Persian corpus was found to contain two unique GEs (‘vae vae vae’ and ‘vae in vae un’), that seemed to be directly transferred to English by the non-native speaker group (‘and and and’ and ‘and this and that’). The data further shows that, unlike in English, Persian GEs are not used to provide an intensifying effect in soliciting agreement. The non-native English corpus does not feature this function either. The findings also indicate that EFL learners do not tend to use the GE ‘and stuff’ to establish solidarity. Besides, the present study shows how Persian GEs can be used to fulfill the two unique functions of expressing outrage and arousing curiosity. In the former case, which is also found in the non-native English corpus, speakers echo the word they find offensive and add the GE ‘jahaerci’, and in the latter case, they lengthen the GE ‘vaeina’. Finally, it is argued that first language norms influence the use of GEs by non-native speakers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-279
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Arousing curiosity
  • EFL discourse
  • Expressing outrage
  • General extender
  • Persian
  • Solidarity

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