"Well (er) You Know horizontal ellipsis ": Discourse Markers in Native and Non-native Spoken English


CORPUS PRAGMATICS, vol.5, no.2, pp.223-242, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 5 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41701-020-00095-9
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.223-242
  • Keywords: Discourse markers, Non-native speech, Turkish EFL learners, Learner corpora
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The present study focuses on the use of five spoken discourse markers, namely so, like, you know, I mean and well, by Turkish and British university students. Previous research shows that non-native speakers generally differ from native speakers in their use of discourse markers. However, the literature on Turkish EFL learners has been limited, and mostly restricted to planned and monologic speech. This gap was addressed in a quantitative and qualitative analysis of a Turkish learner corpus and the Louvain Corpus of Native English Conversation, both containing informal interviews. The Turkish students significantly underused four out of the five discourse markers examined. They used these items in functions that serve mostly at the textual domain, while the British students made use of a higher proportion of interpersonal and interactional functions. Individual functions of these discourse markers were discussed, and supported with direct quotations from the data.