LINGUIST List 12.1067

Mon Apr 16 2001

Sum: Nonlexical Interjections

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <lydialinguistlist.org>


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  1. Gina, Nonlexical Interjections

Message 1: Nonlexical Interjections

Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 20:17:29 +0100
From: Gina <gina.joueucd.ie>
Subject: Nonlexical Interjections

For Query: Linguist 12.320

Hi,

A while back I posted a query for examples of nonlexical interjections in
different languages. I only received a few responses -- many thanks to all
who responded!!!

These were the responses I received:

Raija Solatie pointed out that air traffic communication can involve a step
of "silent attention", expressed by the controller or the pilot during which
no lexical expression is used in their communication and the step is only a
confirmation of transmission of the information.

==================
Jill Brody provided this bibliography:
1995. Lending the 'Unborrowable': Spanish Discourse Markers in Indigenous
American Languages, Spanish in Four Continents: Studies in Language Contact
and Bilingualism, Carmen Silva-Corval�n, ed. pgs. 132-147. Washington, D.C.:
Georgetown University Press.

1994. Multiple Repetitions in Tojolab'al Conversation. In Repetitions in
Discourse, Vol. II, ed. Barbara Johnstone, pgs. 3-14. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Barbara Johnstone et al. (including Jill Brody). 1994. A Dialogue. In
Repetitions in Discourse, Vol. I, ed. Barbara Johnstone, pgs. 1-22. Norwood,
NJ: Ablex.

1993. Mayan conversation as interaction. Proceedings of the First Annual
Symposium about Language and Society - Austin. Robin Queen and Rusty
Barrett, eds. Volume 33, Texas Linguistics Forum. pgs. 234-243. Austin:
Department of Linguistics, University of Texas.

1991. Indirection in the Negotiation of Self in Everyday Tojolab'al Women's
Conversation. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 1(1):78-96.

1990. El realce en Tojolab'al. In Lecturas Sobre la Ling��stica Maya, Nora
C. England and Stephen R. Elliott, eds. Pgs. 461-472. La Antigua, Guatemala:
Centro de Investigaciones Regionales de Mesoam�rica.

[1990] 1989. Alfabetizaci�n y la tradici�n oral: un ejemplo del maya
tojolab'al. Tlalocan 11:395-406.

1989. Discourse Markers in Tojolab'al Mayan. Chicago Linguistic Society
Parasession on Language in Context. Bradley Music, Randolph Graczyk and
Caroline Wiltshire, eds, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 15-29.

[1989] 1988. Incipient Literacy: From involvement to integration in
Tojolab'al Maya. Oral Tradition 3: 315-352.

1988. Discourse Genres in Tojolab'al. In The Tojolab'al Maya: Ethnographic
and Linguistic Approaches. M. Jill Brody and John S. Thomas, eds., pgs.
55-62. Geoscience and Man. Volume 26. Baton Rouge: Geoscience Publications,
Louisiana State University.

Thomas, John S. and Jill Brody. 1988. The Tojolab'al Maya: Ethnographic and
Linguistic Approaches. In The Tojolab'al Maya: Ethnographic and Linguistic
Approaches. M. Jill Brody and John S. Thomas, eds., pgs. 1-8. Geoscience and
Man. Volume 26. Baton Rouge: Geoscience Publications, Louisiana State
University.

[1989] 1987. Particles Borrowed From Spanish as Discourse Markers in Mayan
Languages. Anthropological Linguistics 29:507-21.

1987. Creation that Endured: Three Tojolab'al Texts on Origin. Latin
American Indian Literatures Journal 3(1):39-58.

Gina, my work that intersects with yours looks at interjections as discourse
markers, some of which have been borrowed from another language. The notion
of non-lexical is inherently ambiguous for discourse markers, and is
extra-blurred in borrowing situations. At any rate, perhaps some of my
stuff could help you. I'd like to know more about what you're doing, because
I'm fascinated by this stuff. Good luck. Refs below:

[1989] 1987. Particles Borrowed From Spanish as Discourse Markers in Mayan
Languages. Anthropological Linguistics 29:507-21.

1989. Discourse Markers in Tojolab'al Mayan. Chicago Linguistic Society
Parasession on Language in Context. Bradley Music, Randolph Graczyk and
Caroline Wiltshire, eds, Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society, pp. 15-29.

1995. Lending the 'Unborrowable': Spanish Discourse Markers in Indigenous
American Languages, Spanish in Four Continents: Studies in Language Contact
and Bilingualism, Carmen Silva-Corval�n, ed. pgs. 132-147. Washington, D.C.:
Georgetown University Press.

1998. On hispanisims in elicitation. Convergencia e Individualidad: Las
lenguas mayas entre hispanizaci�n e indigenismo. Andreas Koechert and Thomas
Stoltz, eds. (Colecci�n Americana No. 7, Universit�t Bremen), pgs. 61-84.
Verlag f�r Ethnologie: Hannover and Guatemala City.

==================

Madalena Cruz-Ferreira pointed out the article

Luthy, M. J. (1983). "Nonnative speakers' perception of English "nonlexical"
intonation signals." Language Learning 33(1): 19-36.


and provided this helpful compilation of nonlexical interjections in
European Portuguese:

(::: indicates a filled pause. The symbols are Sampa.)

European Portuguese non-lexical devices:

Pause-fillers.
The 'default' pause-filler, e.g., in utterance-initial position when
replying to a query, is usually a vowel in the area of schwa. This vowel is
phonemic in Portuguese. The pause-filler has a mid-level or mid to
low-falling tone.

Consonants and other vowels may fill pauses if these are hesitation pauses
e.g. in mid-word or mid-phrase. Ex.
Q. Queres levar os verdes ou os encarnados? ('Do you want to take the green
ones or the red ones?')
A. Os::: verdes podes tu levar. ('You may take the green ones::: yourself'.)
(the actual sound involved in these fillers may vary according to sandhi.)


Interjections.
A few are:

[i] for surprise, usually on a falling tone.

[a] for confirmation of the suspected truth of a fact, with a mid-rise,
usually followed by the confirmatory statement;
 for shock, with a low-fall.
 for praise, with a rise-fall.

[O] for disappointment, mid or low-fall.
 to call someone's attention, mid or high level preceding the person'
s name or title. Also used as a phatic device to repeat the addressee's
name in mid-conversation.

[aj, uj] for pain or fear, single or reduplicated, [aj] being the commonest,
both on falling tones. These two are also used preceding exclamations, with
mid-level.

[??] for indifference or contempt for the utterance of a previous speaker,
on a mid-level and usually together with a shrug. ([?] indicates a glottal
stop, non-phonemic in Portuguese.)

[S, Sju] for shushing someone, mid-level or on a falling tone.

[pSt] to request service, e.g., from an attendant in a restaurant, falling
tone.

[~, m] to request repetition of a previous utterance, high-rise.


:-) Gina
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