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Abstract

Abstract

The Colloquial Singapore English or Singlish particle has been observed to convey different pragmatic effects when pronounced with either a rising or falling intonation contour. In this paper, I propose, using a relevance-theoretic framework, that encodes the procedural content that the proposition it marks is accessible to the addressee, i.e. it can be readily recalled by the addressee. Pronouncing with a rising or falling intonational contour then indicates that this procedural content should be interpreted as a question or directive respectively – a rising contour indicates a check on whether the -marked proposition is accessible to the addressee, while a falling contour indicates an instruction to the addressee to make the -marked proposition accessible. This analysis also accounts for ’s unacceptability with directives that seek to impose a new obligation on the addressee that requires immediate action, which has not been previously observed in the literature.

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/content/journals/10.1075/prag.22073.lee
2024-05-14
2024-06-19
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