Or so, oder so, and stuff like that - General extenders in New Zealand English, German and in learner language

Agnes Terraschke*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
    187 Downloads (Pure)


    Mastering the pragmatic norms of another language is a great challenge to non-native speakers. One aspect of the pragmatic norms of a language is the appropriate use of general extenders. These are items such as and stuff and or something like that, which have been ascribed a number of important textual and interactive functions in discourse. This paper explores the uses of the English extender or so by native speakers of New Zealand English and by German non-native speakers of English (GNNSE) plus the use of its German word-for-word equivalent oder so in German in a corpus of 18.5 hours of dyadic conversations between non-familiars. The quantitative and qualitative investigations reveal non-standard uses by the non-native speakers with regard to frequency and functions of use. The analysis shows that GNNSE use or so for functions other than numerical approximation, and suggests that its high frequency use is related to a preference for German oder so, which has a wider semantic scope in German.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)449-469
    Number of pages21
    JournalIntercultural Pragmatics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright de Gruyter 2010. Article originally published in Intercultural pragmatics, Vol 7, iss 3, pp.449-469. The original article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/IPRG.2010.020. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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