Pragmatic Function and Frequency of the Discourse Markers Yeʕni, Êsta, Xoi, and Îtr in Spoken Contexts in Central Kurdish
thesisposted on 19.02.2019, 12:21 by Fatima H. Berot
This is a sociolinguistic study which explores how the discourse markers (DMs) yeʕni, êsta, xoi and îtr (usually translated as English I mean) are used in conversation by three groups of Kurdish-speaking participants (12 first year undergraduate students, 12 fourth year undergraduate students, and 12 lecturers) who study and work in the English departments in universities in Kurdistan. The motivation behind this study is to discover the functions of the DMs in Kurdish, and to understand and explain the similarities and differences in the uses of the DMs by the different groups. The research first qualitatively and quantitatively investigates the pragmatic functions of yeʕni and then compares the results to functions identified in previous Arabic, Turkish, and Persian studies. The data analysis demonstrates that the use of yeʕni in Kurdish is similar to its use in other languages. Next, I analyse the pragmatic functions signalled by the three possible equivalent DMs in Kurdish: êsta, xoi, and îtr. The findings reveal that êsta, xoi, and îtr were used to signal several of pragmatic functions associated with yeʕni. In addition, the results indicate that interchangeability between yeʕni and êsta, xoi and îtr is possible in some cases. The results suggest that principles of grammaticalisation, such as phonetic reduction and layering, could explain the development of interchangeability of the DMs. Furthermore, I have investigated and explained the behaviour of the groups using a quantitative analysis of frequencies and sociolinguistic concepts such as Community of Practice. This study contributes to our understanding of language variation and grammaticalisation, the functions of discourse markers, and the Kurdish language. It should be of interest to linguists, researchers, lecturers, and students who study Kurdish, Arabic, and English.