Author: Li, Guangyan
Title: Adaptors do more than indicate emotional distress : can they be discourse markers?
Advisors: Lopez-Ozieblo, Renia (ENGL)
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2023
Subject: Body language
Speech and gesture
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of English and Communication
Pages: 50 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: This study explores the potential functions of manual discrete adaptors occurring in speech, which have traditionally been viewed as indicators of human negative emotions. Data were collected from second language speakers who repeated a storytelling task through ZOOM meeting over three years. Results demonstrate that adaptors, especially discrete adaptors, do not solely reflect negative emotional states but may fulfill additional roles. We proposed a functional framework for the observed occurrences of adaptors, which includes three main categories: thinking adaptors, border markers, and stress markers. Specifically, thinking adaptors serve as cognitive markers and pragmatic devices for maintaining speaking turn, while border and stress marker adaptors indicate the temporal boundaries of speech and accentuate particular words or phrases, respectively. This study offers compelling evidence that adaptors co-occurring with speech serve multiple functions beyond merely reflecting negative emotional states, providing valuable insights into the role of adaptors in communication.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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