White Rose University Consortium logo
University of Leeds logo University of Sheffield logo York University logo

‘Give us my shoe back’: the pragmatic functions of singular 'us'

Snell, Julia (2007) ‘Give us my shoe back’: the pragmatic functions of singular 'us'. Leeds Working Papers in Linguistics and Phonetics, 12. pp. 44-60. ISSN 1747-9339

Text ('Give us my shoe back': the pragmatic function of singular us)

Download (238Kb)


This paper is based on the results emerging from an ethnographic study of the language practices of 10-year-old children in two primary schools in Teesside, in the north-east of England. It focuses on the children’s use of us for the objective singular first person pronoun. Investigation of the occurrences of singular us in a corpus of radio-microphone recordings indicates that this variant of the objective singular appears to have a pragmatic function associated with degrees of politeness, power and social distance. At the same time, this paper raises methodological concerns about the importance of combining quantitative with qualitative analysis, and by doing so, articulates a new approach to the study of sociolinguistic variation.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: The author retains copyright; publication in the Working Papers does not prevent publication elsewhere.
Keywords: Pronouns, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, Language variation, Community of Practice, Children
Institution: The University of Leeds
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Julia Snell
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2008 18:01
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 16:55
Status: Published
Publisher: The Department of Linguistics and Phonetics at the University of Leeds
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3581

Actions (repository staff only: login required)