OubeiBunkaKenkyu_22_67.pdf 614 KB
A Corpus-Based Analysis of Discourse Particle Cool
山本 五郎 外国語教育研究センター
The objective of this paper is to investigate the meaning and usage of the discourse particle Cool using corpus. The aim of this paper is twofold. The first half of this paper provides citations from six English-English and two English-Japanese EFL/ESL dictionaries, and illustrates the limited description of the target word Cool in its use as a discourse particle. Although it is well recognized that the word Cool is used without a modified syntactic head in English oral communication, the description of its meaning varies from one dictionary to another. In this paper, it is shown that the provided meanings or signposts in a dictionary often do not correspond to illustrative examples of the discourse particle Cool. The discussion against the validity of dictionary descriptions secures the motivation for this study. The second half of this paper is spared for a corpus-based analysis of the target expression Cool. This paper seeks to verify the discourse functions of Cool using illustrative examples from dictionaries. Based on discussions and analyses in previous studies that have focused on other forms of discourse particles, four categories have been set up for the purpose of analyzing the discourse particle Cool. They are: (1) affirmative response towards a question or request; (2) display of an understanding of content; (3) emotional response; and (4) support and empathy toward a speaker’s judgment. Sorting retrieved data on Cool from WordbanksOnline shows what meanings and usages the target expression has in English oral communication. The categorization of corpus data based on discourse functions successfully captures some of the overlooked usages and provides better descriptions of the discourse particle Cool.