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Title: An analysis of colloquial Singapore English lah and its interpretation across speech acts
Authors: Lee, Junwen
Keywords: Humanities::Linguistics
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Lee, J. (2022). An analysis of colloquial Singapore English lah and its interpretation across speech acts. Languages, 7(3), 7030203-.
Project: MOE2019-T2-1-084 
Journal: Languages 
Abstract: Previous research has observed that the Colloquial Singapore English particle lah conveys many different, and sometimes contradictory, pragmatic effects. In this paper, I focus specifically on how lah, pronounced in a low falling tone, behaves differently with assertions and directives—although it emphasizes the truth of assertions, it weakens the authoritative force of directives. In addition, it can be used in a non-emphatic way with confirmation-seeking statements. I propose that the particle conveys the not-at-issue or side comment that the lah-marked proposition directly follows from the evidence it is based on, which is interpreted by the addressee as an attempt by the speaker to justify her utterance. The different pragmatic effects of the particle then result from how this not-at-issue comment is interpreted in relation to the speech act of the utterances they mark.
ISSN: 2226-471X
DOI: 10.3390/languages7030203
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2022 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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