um, er, well

Lynne Murphy lynnem at COGS.SUSX.AC.UK
Tue Oct 24 16:34:08 UTC 2000

>Dear ADS:
>Might anyone have some insight into the frequent (written and spoken) use
>of "um," "er" or "well" to call attention to what is about to be said? For
>example: "The wounds of the primary campaign have, um, not exactly healed."

I think Deborah Schiffrin's book deals with this:

Schiffrin, Deborah.  1987.  Discourse Markers (Studies in
Interactional Sociolinguistics 5).  Cambridge: Cambridge University

   And/or Lawrence Schourup's book:

Schourup, Lawrence C.  1985.  Common Discourse Particles in English
Conversation (Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics).  New York:
Garland Publishing.

M. Lynne Murphy
Lecturer in Linguistics
School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 3AN    UK
phone:  +44(0)1273-678844
fax:    +44(0)1273-671320
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