Vocatives and Expletives

Vocatives and expletives, such as What do you want, darling and God, that’s terrific are “features of dialogue, especially casual conversation where they often occur one after the other and together reinforce the ‘you-and-me’ dimension of the meaning” (H & M, p.134). These two, outside the Mood and Residue structure, are often overlooked in EFL classes and are one reason why many EFL dialogues can seem somewhat flat and impersonal. One easy activity I use in class to reinforce their importance is just to get students using each other’s names when doing any kind of drill. Instead of just What time do you get up? the students should instead try to use:

– What time do you get up, Takashi?

– At about 6 o’clock.

 – Wow, that’s early!

– I know! How about you, Junko?

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About eflfunc

I'm an EFL teacher in Japan and this is a blog to record some thoughts on using Systemic Functional Linguistics in the foreign language classroom.
This entry was posted in Content: lexico-grammar, Interpersonal function and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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