This paper investigates the most frequent lexical bundle (LB) ka li kong (to-yousay) (KLK), in an 18.5-hour Taiwanese Southern Min conversation corpus. The analysis focuses on the discourse-pragmatic functions of KLK, the role it plays in the speaker's management of information in talk-in-interaction, and the collocations that are employed. The results show that the speaker utilizes KLK to imply epistemic authority regarding the veracity of the predication. Meanwhile, it expresses the speaker's stance or functions as a discourse organizer to initiate a narrative that is newsworthy. Prosodically, it is always processed as a holistic chunk with great phonological reduction. Along with the low transitivity of the verb kong demonstrated by the type of object it takes, we argue that KLK is developing into a discourse marker. Collocation of KLK with the marker toh further triggers the grammaticalization of the four-word bundle toh ka li kong (TKLK) to encode an extreme stance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas