Thursday, February 19, 1998 at 06:16:34
If you're interested in how FPs are related to a language,
you might be interested in an otherwise useless piece of trivia I constantly hear from my
My wife is Portuguese, and her family is from the Azores, where they speak a slightly formal version of Portuguese. We live near San Francisco, where we come across a lot of Brazilians, who speak Portuguese, but a Portuguese under the influence of cultural evolution.
My wife--being a good colonialist--laments the degradation of the language, with particular regard to the profusion of lexicalized FPs. Brazilian Portuguese in conversation is peppered with meaningless words, a grave insult to the Portuguese who prize the beauty of their language above all else.
So far in my research I have focused primarily on filled pauses in English. Since I live in Japan and my wife is Japanese I have been able to observe how pauses are filled here, too (using such words as 'ano', roughly translatable as 'that', or 'eto', which is not translatable at all). However, I hadn't noticed any particular distaste for such lexicalizations as you have described in Portuguese. Soon, I will have to expand my research horizons to look at other languages.
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