This is a study in conversation analysis focusing on the analysis of the discourse marker /jacni/ in Egyptian Arabic. Markers are defined as discourse deictic expressions that link together, and signal boundaries between, discourse structures. They operate on all three levels of discourse proposed by Halliday (1970) - textual, ideational and interpersonal. Using direct observation techniques, the distribution, form and function of the marker /jacni/ were examined in the language of educated Egyptian subjects on radio and television interviews. Two variables were taken into account - speaker gender and topic type. Using syntactic position and phonological form as guidelines for interpretation, seven categories of functions were identified for /jacni/ in a 20,000 word corpus. Using a two-tailed 'z-test', function frequencies across counterparts of each independent variable proved statistically significant. The findings were interpreted within the framework of 'deixis' and 'Interpersonal Rhetoric' (Leech, 1983).


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Degree Name

MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

Date of Award


Online Submission Date


First Advisor

Stevens, Paul

Committee Member 1

Saad, Gamal

Committee Member 2

Farghaly, Ali

Document Type



55 leaves

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Discourse Markers

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2



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