Discourse-partikels: niet gemakkelijk in gebruik of eigenlijk toch wel?
Within the literature on the topic of discourse-particles, there is no consensus on whether the use of discourse-particles by people with aphasia or cognitive communication disorders (CCD) is similar to that by healthy people who have no neurological damage. Some studies have pleaded that discourse-particles are relatively easy to use which enables people with aphasia or CCD to use them similar or more than healthy people. Another vision that exists pleads that the use of discourse-particles is dependent on (extra-)linguistic context, which may cause people with aphasia or CCD to experience more difficulty using them then healthy people. To be able to draw conclusions on the use of discourse-particles by people with aphasia or CCD, it is important to describe how healthy people use them in different contexts, such as in different tasks and with different interlocutors. In this study, eight healthy Dutch native speakers, ranging in age between 52 and 64, participated. Participants completed three tasks: an interview, statement task and a picture task. The interview was executed with an unfamiliar interlocutor, the two other tasks with both an unfamiliar and a familiar interlocutor. In this way, data on the spontaneous use of discourse-particles by healthy people was collected. The analyses focused on both the frequencies and the functions of the used discourse-particles. This study showed no significant difference between the total amount of used discourse-particles in the different tasks, nor with different interlocutors. The discourse-particle eigenlijk was used more frequently in the interview than in the picture task and the discourse-particles ja and ja herhalend were used more frequently in the picture task than in the interview. The functions thinking, thinking repetitive and own statement were used more frequently in the picture task than in the interview. No differences were found between the use of individual discourse-particles and functions in conversations with different interlocutors. The conclusion that can be drawn from this study is that there is no significant difference between the use of discourse-particles by healthy people in different contexts. As this study had a relatively small number of participants, further research is necessary to examine whether the results are generalizable to a broader population. Furthermore, further research on the use of discourse-particles by people with aphasia or CCD is needed.
Faculteit der Letteren