University of Twente Student Theses


“Het klinkt misschien gek, maar…” ; Een onderzoek naar functies van de zinsconstructie “klinkt misschien gek, maar”

Weber, Lena (2011) “Het klinkt misschien gek, maar…” ; Een onderzoek naar functies van de zinsconstructie “klinkt misschien gek, maar”.

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Abstract:The Dutch phrase “Het klinkt misschien gek, maar …” (in English: “it might sound crazy/strange, but …”) is a well-known expression which seems to be used increasingly in the Dutch language. Although the phrase is commonly used, no research has been conducted yet to examine why people use it. The purpose of this study is to investigate which functions “klinkt misschien gek, maar” has. This study builds on another – non scientific – article in which the author describes several possible functions of the phrase. 352 fragments of internet discussions were examined and classified into different categories with the use of content analysis. These categories were all based on functions of related research topics. The lack of prior research about the specific phrase “klinkt misschien gek, maar” or similar phrases, was the reason why the foundation of the categories was based on related research. The categories were established by examining existing literature about discourse markers, gambits, interjections, concessions, benevolum parare-techniques and face losing-techniques. Eventually, the research was conducted by using six subcategories within three main categories. The results revealed that “klinkt misschien gek, maar” is used for three main functions (to relate to the writer, to relate to the reader and to relate to the message) and six subfunctions. These subfunctions are: to prevent insecurity and/or losing face (main function: writer), to add emotions (main function: writer), to convince the reader (main function: reader), to strengthen the relationship between the writer and the reader (main function: reader), to inform about surprising events (main function: message) and to prevent wrong implications (main function: message). The main conclusion of this study is that “klinkt misschien gek, maar” is mostly used to prevent the writer’s insecurity about a thought, an emotion or an experience. The writer tries to hide his or her insecurity by admitting that what he or she has to say might sound crazy. Another commonly used function of the phrase is: convincing the reader. The writer usually applies this function by using the imperative of a verb or by suggestive questioning. Furthermore, it was discovered that the functions of “klinkt misschien gek, maar” cannot be derived from just one other research topic. This means that phrases like “klinkt misschien gek, maar” could be considered to be a whole new research topic. The content analysis in this research was based on predetermined categories to examine the functions of “klinkt misschien gek, maar”. It is recommended that further research looks into these categories again to determine whether they are sufficient to explain the functions of “klinkt misschien gek, maar”. Further research could also be useful to reveal whether the functions found in this study are recognizable for the reader
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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