Vicente Sotto Lecture 2024 February

| April 1, 2024

“The Empty Root ‘kuan’ in Radio Conversations: Revisiting Its Versatile Functions and Syntactic Slots”
Mr. Philip Donald Herrera  

This study looked into the pragmatic functions as well as the syntactic slots of the empty root kuan in identified conversations. These pragmatic functions and syntactic slots were based on the frameworks first proposed by Hsieh and Tanangkingsing (2021) and Tanangkingsing (2009) respectively. The present study focused on two Wanted Forever segments with a match-making nature live streamed in Facebook. These segments also became the primary source of data. The results of the present study showed that, in so far as the pragmatic functions and the given data are concerned, the empty root kuan may not be as versatile as the proponents claimed it to be. This is the case since only the placeholder function was very productive while all other functions were otherwise. However, in regard to the empty root’s versatility in assuming a particular syntactic slot, the present study affirmed their assertion as all syntactic slots had substantial representative tokens distributed based on the present data. With all these, the meaning of the empty root kuan can, indeed, be negotiated and its emptiness lies in the fact that it is nothing beyond the context of the conversation. While the empty root kuan’s versatility (or lack thereof) in meaning and placement is significant in understanding discourse particles in Cebuano, it would also be equally interesting to explore the idea on whether the presence of such empty roots in spoken discourse is an indication of disfluency or otherwise.

Date: February 24, 2024

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Category: Vicente Sotto Lecture Series