Discursive Functions of Monosyllabic Responses in Online Friendly Conversations
This paper employed the qualitative research approach to explore discursive functions of monosyllabic responses in friendly online conversations. It was underpinned by Gordon Pask’s Conversational Theory (1975). Data was purposively extracted form friendly chats on two social media platforms – Facebook and WhatsApp. The analysis was done with the aid of corpus-based computer software – AntConc 3.5.9. The findings revealed a preponderant use of monosyllabic responses in the friendly chats such as you, yes, no, how, hi, hey, cool, sup. It was also discovered that these monosyllabic responses are used to perform many functions such as greetings, topic initiation, imperatives, questions, assertions, summarizing, make conversations concise. The usage equally gives the interlocutors a sense of in-grouping in the social community. Interestingly, monosyllabic responses were also discovered to be used to show lack of interest in a conversation and therefore employed as a polite way of “telling the other interlocutor off” in a conversation event.
Keywords: Discourse, Discursive function, Syllabification, Conversation theory