Pragmatic functions of repetitions in spontaneous spoken dialect discourse

Danila Zuljan Kumar 1
  • 1 Fran Ramovš Institute for Slovenian Language, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Danila Zuljan Kumar


Repetition is a natural phenomenon employed to perform a variety of cognitive, psychological, interactional, stylistic, didactic and pragmatic functions in spoken and written discourse. Adopting the method of discourse analysis, the study attempts to explore the pragmatic functions of repetitions as used in spoken dialect narrative discourse.

On a propositional level, only those repetitions which establish and maintain co-reference are necessary, all other forms seem to be redundant. However, if we take into account their pragmatic functions, they are not, as the data gathered in the study show. In fact, speakers use them, deliberately or not, as an effective communication strategy in the following functions: to extend the planning time to find a suitable lexeme, to enhance the importance of a lexeme, to emphasize the length of an event, after an interruption, to eliminate uncertainty and to confirm the correctness of the co-speaker’s statement. They also reveal the speakers emotions, like his/her emotional shock, and are used as a part of the so-called conversational duet.

The data include the transcripts of the interviews with 6 dialect speakers in the Brda/Collio region, western Slovenia.

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Dialectologia et Geolinguistica publishes contributions on the variation of languages world-wide, systematic and inherent, diachronic and synchronic, regional and social, based on either oral or written data. It is open to all theoretical and methodological approaches. The journal is the official journal of the International Society for Dialectology and Geolinguistics (ISDG/SIDG).