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Pragmatic noise in Shakespeare's plays

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Publication date30/11/2020
Host publicationVoices past and present - Studies of involved, speech-related and spoken texts: In honor of Merja Kytö
EditorsEwa Jonsson, Tove Larsson
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Number of pages18
ISBN (electronic)9789027260642
ISBN (print)9789027207654
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameStudies in Corpus Linguistics
PublisherJohn Benjamins


Pragmatic noise, first coined in Culpeper and Kytö (2010), refers to the semi–natural noises, such as ah, oh, and ha, that have evolved to express a range of pragmatic and discoursal functions. Taking advantage of the regularised spellings and grammatically tagged texts of the Enhanced Shakespearean Corpus (Culpeper 2019), this study considers the frequency, distribution and functions of pragmatic noise across Shakespeare’s plays and characters. It reveals and discusses, for example, the facts that: whilst particular types of pragmatic noise maintain a steady presence across all the plays, there is variation in token density; female characters have a much greater density of pragmatic noise tokens compared with male; and characters in the middle of the social hierarchy use pragmatic noise particularly often.