Well but that’s the effect of it: The use of well as a discourse particle in talk shows

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Discourse particles have been a topic of interest in the research community for decades. Despite the vast number of scholarly outputs dedicated to this area, it appears that little has been done on the use of discourse particles by non-native speakers. This paper attempts to address this largely neglected issue by examining the use of well as a discourse particle by Hong Kong Chinese speakers of English in a series of a TV current affairs talk show. Results show that contrary to the prevalent view in the Hong Kong educational setting that discourse particles are a sign of dysfluent speech, the discourse particle well in the data fulfils a wide range of functions which are crucial for participants to sail through different situations. This raises the question whether the status of discourse particles in second language learning, if they have any, should be re-assessed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalSprache und Datenverarbeitung: International Journal for Language Data Processing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2006


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