Volume 18, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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In this article, I explore strategies storytellers use to increase listener response to their performances, such as (1) repeating a salient phrase, particularly a piece of dialogue; (2) adding an explanation of the point of a story; (3) drawing out some consequence of the story; and particularly (4) the unobtrusive strategy of producing a minimal response to draw out a more extensive reaction from listeners. This last strategy came to light in a large-scale corpus-based search. Instead of working from a set of narratives, I begin by looking at a linguistic element, namely items from the class of discourse markers like so and y’know in all kinds of contexts in a very large corpus, and slowly narrowed my focus to narrative passages within the whole array of examples. In the process, I discovered distributions and functions for items, which have not been described in previous research on conversational narrative.


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