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Reading: Exploring the Use of Probes in a Corpus Pragmatic Study of Hedging Strategies

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Exploring the Use of Probes in a Corpus Pragmatic Study of Hedging Strategies

Author:

Stine Hulleberg Johansen

University of Oslo, NO
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Abstract

The majority of corpus studies of pragmatic phenomena deal with the functions of predefined forms. Moving in the opposite direction—searching for functions in order to identify the forms that can realize them—is impossible unless the corpus is annotated for pragmatic functions. This study explores a possible way around this problem: the use of probes. This strategy is tested as a means to identify hedging strategies in Norwegian and English spoken corpora. The probes men and but, signalling disagreement or contrast, are used as markers of face-threatening situations in which hedging strategies are likely to occur. The results show that clauses with men/but more frequently contain hedging than random clauses do, although the difference is statistically significant only for Norwegian. The use of probes thus seems to be a promising way forward, and future studies should aim at identifying even better probes with higher co-occurrence rates for the forms of interest.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.493
How to Cite: Hulleberg Johansen, S., 2019. Exploring the Use of Probes in a Corpus Pragmatic Study of Hedging Strategies. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 18(1), pp.121–148. DOI: http://doi.org/10.35360/njes.493
Published on 20 Aug 2019.

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