Hwæt! LOL! Common formulaic functions in 'Beowulf' and blogs


An examination of the discourse-structuring functions that formulae perform in two genres which exist in written format as texts, but maintain close links to oral forms, namely Old English (OE) verse, specifically the epic poem Beowulf, and weblogs. We identify five important functions of formulae found in common across OE verse and blogs, classifying these functions as discourse-structuring functions, filler functions, epithetic functions, gnomic functions, and tonic functions. In addition, a sixth type of formulaic function necessarily tied to the written medium, the acronymic function, is identified in both genres.

Chicago Linguistic Society 2012
Benjamin Slade
Benjamin Slade
Associate Professor of Linguistics

My research interests include formal semantics and syntax, historical linguistics, South Asian and Caribbean languages, and the use of computational concepts in formal linguistics.