An Investigation of Pragmatic Functions and Position of Prevalent Persian Discourse Markers Used in Casual Conversations among Tehrani Speakers

Manizheh Alami


Given that a systematic treatment of Persian Discourse Markers (hereafter DMs) is almost absent in modern Persian linguistics and to bridge this gap, the audio-recorded data comprising 14 face to face casual conversations involving two-party and multi-party interactions among family members, acquaintances and close friends are used to shed light on these ‘frequently used’ but ‘frequently unnoticed’ linguistic elements. To document a list of the most common DMs typically used in Tehrani dialect of Persian language and to have a detailed description of their discoursal functions in talk, Brinton’s (1996) binary classification of DMs functions (textual and interpersonal) was developed to provide an empirically-supported account of the functions and position of Persian DMs in interaction among Tehrani speakers. The present account of DMs which is basically ‘analytical description’ provides the reader with the knowledge about how Persian DMs operate in actual usage. The findings are built upon a 3105-word corpus including 14 audio-recorded conversations among 50 participants. Altogether 34 tokens of Persian DMs with an overall 254 occurrences were identified among which na/na baba (no/no daddy) with the total of 33 (12.84%) occurrences were the most frequently used Persian DM in the data which are followed by dige (no English equivalent), aare/ba’ale (yep/yes), yani (I mean), vali (but), haalaa/ alaan (now), bebin/nega kon (look) and aslan (by no means/ never).To the author, research on the functions and distributional patterns of Persian DMs will broaden our knowledge of their discoursal behavior in language in general and contribute to the already growing cross-linguistic body of work on DMs.



Discourse Markers, Persian language, Textual function, Interpersonal function, Casual conversation

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