Another story: Be like across discourse types

Celeste Rodríguez Louro, Sophie L.R. Richard, Sana Bharadwaj

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Quotative be like has been described as "one of the most striking developments [in English]"(Tagliamonte and D'Arcy 2004:493). Despite the vast research on quotatives and the upsurge of be like, the potential impact of discourse type on the grammar of quotation has rarely been assessed. Yet, discourse type has proved a relevant factor in linguistic variation (see Travis 2007; Buchstaller 2011; Travis and Lindstrom 2016). Drawing on vernacular spoken data from our multigenerational corpus of Australian English, we include discourse type as a predictor in our recursive partitioning and logistic regression models. Our results show that similar linguistic constraints operate on be like across discourse types. However, significant differences emerge regarding its social conditioning in narrative as opposed to nonnarrative discourse, pointing to a strong association between be like and female storytelling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-351
Number of pages27
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 9 Nov 2020


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