Stan – life in the army (TU10)

Speaker: Stan, male, 77, White British

Stan lives in Havering, Essex. In this extract he reminisces about his army days. It could be interesting to consider which features of Stan’s speech mark him out as a member of an older generation: for example, would a young person use the colloquial words and expressions chap (lines 6, 75), a good half hour (line 25), a blind bit of notice (line 31), blimey (line 44) or a great big fat corporal (line 18)? Stan’s hedges, discourse markers and quotative expressions are also more typical of an older speaker.

Much of the impact of the story comes from what Stan said to his superior officers and what they said to him, so there is a lot of reported direct speech and reported thought in his story.

His use of er and erm is in line with research findings on gender differences in the use of these forms.

Discussion points
Audio: You can download the sound clip using the embedded player below. The download button is in the top right of the player window.

Linguistics Research Digest links
Gender differences in “uh” and “um”
The function of fillers