Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported primarily by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2016 Fund Drive.

Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: Technical term for a crutch word?
Question: I was wondering if there is a term in linguistics for the following: whenever a non- native speaker begins acquiring another language, they often repeat a simple transitional phrase or word in this non-native language when they are flustered, nervous or are still cross-translating into their native language. For example, I often use ''that is to say'' or ''就是说'' unconsciously when I'm struggling to explain myself. And I've noticed that many other non-native speakers will repeat phrases like ''the point is''; ''how to say''; ''Indeed''; or ''so on and so forth'' several times while they formulate responses (in English). Is there a term in linguistics that describes this pattern? Thanks!
From: Aly
Date: 25-Jul-2013
Replies:
  1. Re: Technical term for a crutch word?    Susan D Fischer     (29-Jul-2013)
  2. Re: Technical term for a crutch word?    Madalena Cruz-Ferreira     (29-Jul-2013)

Back to Most Recent Questions