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In the following section, we proceed to analyze the narrative functions of the sequencing of clauses, that is, the overall structure of the narrative. It will provide us with the appropriate textual frame within which to develop the study of pragmatic markers later on. 2 Labov’s overall structure of narrative According to Labov and Waletzky (1967), a fully-formed narrative shows the following parts: 1. Abstract 2. Orientation 21 22 Pragmatic Markers in Oral Narrative 3. 4. 5. 6. Complicating action Evaluation Result or resolution Coda 1.

As pointed by Labov (1972b: 361), (a) is a free clause because the fact that the narrator knows a boy named Harry is equally true at the beginning and at the end of the reported event. As was previously mentioned, only independent clauses can function as narrative clauses. Subordinate clauses do not alter the temporal sequence of events. Thus, in the following examples provided by Labov (1972b: 362) we see that only two clauses contain the events: (5) a. b. If you didn’t bring her candy to school she would punch you in the mouth.

33 34 Pragmatic Markers in Oral Narrative As he pinpoints, only (c) is needed in order to have a narrative; (a), (b) and (e) are meant to clarify referential questions, whereas (d) has a key functional purpose: why is the story told, what is the point of it. The coda is not included in the list, since it does not answer any question and is not found with the same frequency as the rest of the narrative segments: “The coda puts oŸ a question — it signals that questions (c) and (d) are no longer relevant” (1972b: 370).

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