An investigation of general extenders in a corpus of parliamentary debates

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The paper illustrates the important role played by vague expressions in native speaker communicative competence and investigates the use of a particular type of vague expressions, general extenders - like ‘and so on’, ‘or something’, ‘etcetera’ - in two subcorpora of 62 EU parliamentary debates comprising native English and non-native English. Results show that by far the most frequent general extenders occurring in the two subcorpora are ‘and so on’ and ‘etcetera’, which Overstreet (1999) has found to be typical of formal settings. In keeping with Terraschke and Holmes (2007), who investigated the use of general extenders in conversations, this study shows that general extenders have similar functions in the two subcorpora. From a formal point of view, the form [adjectives + general extender] appears exclusively in the native subcorpus, albeit in three cases, which may indicate a greater conformity to the norm on the part of non-native speakers.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings from the Corpus Linguistics Conference Series, University of Birmingham (UK), 27-30 July 2007
Numero di pagine13
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2007
EventoCorpus Linguistics Conference CL2007 - Birmingham
Durata: 27 lug 200730 lug 2007


ConvegnoCorpus Linguistics Conference CL2007


  • general extenders
  • native vs non native discourse
  • vague language


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