Bla, bla, bla in German. A pejorative construction?
The paper provides a pragmatic analysis of utterances containing the syllable triple <i>bla, bla, bla</i> in German. In uttering <i>bla, bla, bla</i>, speakers may convey a derogatory stance towards someone else’s utterance. The question is addressed how this pejorative meaning aspect should be modeled in terms of the semantics/pragmatics divide: Is it contextually induced (inferential), or is it conventional (encoded)? Two main usage types are distinguished: sequentially non-restricted usages, and turn-initial reply usages. On the basis of a close analysis of the characteristic features of <i>bla, bla, bla</i>, it is claimed that the pejorative meaning aspect is to be described differently for the two main usages: While in sequentially non-restricted usages, the pejoration is a contextually induced implicature, in the turn-initial reply usage, it is a conventional aspect of this specific construction.