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The Uses of ‘bahi’ as a Discourse Marker in Daily Libyan Arabic Conversations

Journal: International Journal of English Language and Translation Studies (Vol.02, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 171-181

Keywords : Uses of Bahi; Discourse marker; Pragmatic Markers; Arabic Conversations; Conversation Analysis;

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Discourse Markers (also called as Pragmatic Markers) play very important roles in the organization of discourse and/or fulfilling pragmatic functions in any language. They have been studied in a variety of languages, in a variety of genres and from a number of different perspectives by scholars from different research disciplines. As they form the topic for continuous research, due to the complex nature and varied functions across languages, the present paper attempts to examine the various uses of ‘bahi’, literally meaning ‘okay’, as a discourse marker in daily Libyan Arabic conversations. Twenty-two sets of videos, collected from10 male and female subjects, and six audio-recorded conversations, of 15-40 minutes duration, made by the Libyan native speakers of Arabic formed the data of the study. A part of the audio-recorded conversations was also used to examine uses of ‘bahi’ based on gender differences in terms of frequency and use. The results showed that ‘bahi’ functions as a discourse marker that carries distinctive meanings in different contexts such as agreement, warning, expectation of more, showing admiration, blaming, and ending arguments, etc. Results from the recorded conversations part showed that the tendency to use the word by male and female speakers was almost the same in terms of the intended meanings. However, a higher frequency of using ‘bahi’ was observed among female subjects when compared to their male counterparts.

Last modified: 2014-03-02 13:20:55