Pragmatic particles in Madurese: A corpus study of jâ’ in oral narratives and conversations.

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The present study investigates the pragmatic function of the particle jâ’ in Madurese oral narratives and conversations. The particle is often semantically empty, but serves an important pragmatic function within human communication. To uncover this pragmatic function, the present study uses both a qualitative and quantitative approach. It uses the conversation analysis framework to deal with conversation data, while the sentence form and function perspective is used to interpret oral narratives. These approaches often support one another when it comes to pragmatic issues. The findings show that the particle jâ’ can function as emphatic particle, explanatory particle, negative imperative particle, and complementizer and can also be used to indicate disappointment. The present study also corroborates the results of previous studies by showing that text type or genre can influence the pragmatic function both quantit! atively a nd qualitatively. It is suggested that jâ was originally an emphatic particle, but there is evidence that it was also used as a negative particle from the very beginning. It could thus be regarded as a case of homonymy. Further study by means of diachronic corpus research might unravel the precise semantic development as well as the pragmatic function of the particle.
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