From sequential to affective discourse marker: Hebrew Nu on Israeli Political Phone-In Radio Programs

Yael Maschler, Gonen Dori-Hacohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous studies of Hebrew nu investigate this discourse marker in casual conversation. The current study explores nu on Israeli political phone-in radio programs and broadens our knowledge both about the functions and grammaticization processes of discourse markers and about some particularities of Israeli political talk radio. The comparison to casual talk reveals both qualitative and quantitative differences. In casual talk, the main function of nu is a sequential one - urging further development of an ongoing topic (69%). In the radiophonic data, the most common role of nu is as a keying token (53%), functioning in the affective realm. Furthermore, the talk-radio data show a wider variety of keys constructed by nu - which range from joking to sheer contempt - clustering closer towards the latter, in contrast to the case of casual talk, manifesting mostly the joking key. Structurally, whereas sequential functions are generally accomplished by stand-alone nu, affective tokens are accompanied by same-speaker talk. The analysis sheds new light on how a sequential token might come to function in the affective realm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)419-455
Number of pages37
JournalDiscourse Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • Affect
  • Hebrew conversation
  • Israeli phone-in radio talk
  • discourse markers
  • emotion
  • grammaticization
  • interactional sociolinguistics
  • key
  • minimal responses
  • stance
  • urging tokens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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