Resource Centre

Conversation Terminology

See also The Language of Conversation

Random, disjointed, unpredictable, loosely coordinated.
1Simple Sentence:has only one clause
eg. Is OK.; It couldn't be better; How's things with you?
2Minor Sentence:has no verb
eg. Barrington forward.
3Ellipsis:omission of word or words making a sentence grammatically incorrect and difficult to follow.
4Proseopesis:omission of subject or beginning of sentence
eg. It's OK... couldn't be better... can't grumble...
5Anacoluthon:starting a sentence with one structure and finishing with another
eg. Once he's in position if he's... he's he's er moves very quickly.
6Tag Sentences:is tagged on to the main sentence
eg. But that's life, isn't it?
7Parataxis:listing of phrases leading to a climax
eg. It's cool, it's fresh, it's invigorating, it's Coke.
8Takeovers:interpretations by one speaker before the other has finished.
9Relative Pronouns Omitted:(who, which, what)
eg. The girl I saw at the beach.
1Verbal Contradictions:using abbreviated verb forms
eg. couldn't, won't, can't, I've.
2Phrasal Verbs:(Verb and particle combinations) to take off, to build up, to consult with, to check up on, to walk out on.
1Fillers:eg. eh, gosh.
2Temporisers:eg. sort of, I mean...
3Repetition for stalling purposes(any repetition)
1Deictic Reference:reference to preceding object using determiners.
2Determiners:eg. the, this, those.
3Intensifiers:adjectives and adverbs that intensify or modify nouns/verbs
eg. too, pretty, quite, rather, bit.
4Initial Markers:eg. Well...; But...
5Colloquialisms, Slang and Clichés:
6Hyperbole or Exaggeration:eg. I have a ton of homework.
7Feedbackeg. yeah, mmmm