"And I was like 'ah yeah, what are they talking about?'" - The use of quotatives in New Zealand English

Agnes Terraschke

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


    Research in recent years has shown that the use of quotatives such as say, think and be like is an important narrative tool in English interactions. These devices can be used to make a story more immediate and entertaining and to make the tone of a conversation more personal. The form be like in particular, being a relatively new quotative that is often associated with the speech of young women, has been found to work as a marker of informality. The interpersonal functions of quotatives as well as recent changes observed within quotative systems make them an interesting device to investigate, both in terms of gender differences as well as differences between varieties of English. This paper focuses on the uses of quotatives in New Zealand English, based on a corpus of roughly 5 hours of dyadic interactions between native New Zealand university students (same sex and mixed sex pairs). The study seeks to establish the quotative inventory of New Zealand English for this speaker group. The data is analysed in terms of the forms and frequencies of quotatives and gender differences, and the results are discussed in the context of similar studies conducted for other varieties of English.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFROM THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE
    Subtitle of host publicationPARAMETERS OF LANGUAGE VARIATION E-Proceedings of the 2008 Conference of the Australian Linguistics Society
    EditorsLouise de Beuzeville, Pam Peters
    Place of PublicationAustralia
    PublisherAustralian Linguistic Society
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)9781742102115
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventAustralian Linguistic Society (ALS) annual conference 2008 - Sydney, Australia
    Duration: 2 Jul 20084 Jul 2008


    ConferenceAustralian Linguistic Society (ALS) annual conference 2008
    CitySydney, Australia


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