Discourse Features

Framework 4: Discourse

Table outlining the different types of discourse feature, giving explanations and examples of each.

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Discourse Feature Description Examples
Back channelling Showing agreement as someone else Mmm, yeah, okay
is talking
Discourse marker Marking that your turn to talk is about Okay, right then, so, but
to start or a shift in conversation
Fillers Sounds made when thinking/ when Err, umm
discourse is broken
Hedging Agreeing but disagreeing at the same Kind of, sort of, maybe, perhaps
time to avoid directness Modal verbs - will, could, might
False starts Beginning a sentence, correcting It began er Arsenal kicked off the
yourself and starting again second half
Repairs Correcting yourself He ­ sorry she ­ broke the vase
Skip connectors Skipping past the tangent at which Anyway, coming back to original
the conversation is going and discussion
reverting to the original conversation
Fixed Expressions Saying something definitely ­ stock As a matter of fact, basically, at the
phrase end of the day
Often habitual
Vague Expressions Similar to hedging, deliberately Something, anything, stuff
non-committal expressions in informal
Ellipsis Removing of words from a sentence Just seen Jack
to abbreviate Return to Halesowen

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Tonight, 8pm
Tag Questions Adding a question to the end of a You did really well didn't you?
sentence to confirm/support It was tomorrow wasn't it?
something I've missed that train haven't I?
Doesn't need an answer, as you
already know the answer.
`didn't' ­ negating particle
`I' - pronoun
Deixis Pointing words in a perceptual, Me, you, we, they
temporal or spatial dimension.…read more


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