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Academic Paper

Title: Well, that’s why I asked the question sir”: Well as a discourse marker in court
Author: Bronwen Innes
Email: click here TO access email
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This article discusses the use of well as a discourse marker in some New Zealand courtrooms. While well has been discussed by many in the past, the data have been selected mainly from small, friendly encounters of various kinds, including sociolinguistic interviews. The study reported on here looks at a very different situation that necessarily involves a range of relationships and includes both cooperative and adversarial activities. It confirms that explanations of well’s use focusing on single strands such as social indicators (e.g. gender) or discourse coherence are simplistic, a more fruitful account being afforded through a multi-pronged functional approach. Finally, the article considers the application of politeness and relevance theory.


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 39, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .

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