Volume 29, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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Expressing vagueness is a common phenomenon especially in spoken discourse. The present paper examines vague language ‘sort of’ (e.g., ) realised in spoken discourse in Indonesian. It accounts for the pragmatic functions of ‘sort of’ examined in their discourse context. The data under investigation include a 24-hour corpus of a television talk-show discussing various social issues. A pragmatic qualitative data analysis is predominantly employed directed towards a functional analysis of the use of ‘sort of’. Descriptive statistics accompany the qualitative analysis to reinforce the investigation. The quantitative analysis shows that ‘sort of’ was infrequently used in the context of Indonesian television discourse. The corpus displays various forms of lexical devices for ‘sort of’ in Indonesian. The pragmatic analysis shows that ‘sort of’ was employed as a politeness strategy to tone down strong linguistic expressions and to save the speaker’s positive face. The infrequent use of ‘sort of’ in the discourse type under investigation in this study reinforces the notion that ‘sort of’ is a feature of informal interaction.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): discourse; hedges; Indonesian; politeness; vagueness
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