The Textual Functions of Discourse Marker yalla in Jordanian Arabic

Murad Al Kayed, Mohammad Al-Ajalein, Sami Khalaf Al Khawaldah, Majd Alkayid


The present study aims at proving that yalla ‘hurry’ is a discourse marker in Jordanian Spoken Arabic (henceforth, JSA). It also investigates the textual functions of yalla in different contexts. The data consisted of 104 scenarios, including the JSA yalla. The researchers relied mainly on observation to collect the data needed for the present study. A panel of four raters, who were four professors of linguistics, tested the validity of the data. Moreover, a group of 50 students studying English at Al Balqa Applied University tested the data based on acceptability judgment. The findings showed that yalla is a discourse marker as it holds the common features of DMs, such as connectivity, optionality, non-truth-conditionality, weak clause association, orality, initiality, multi-categoriality, and multifunctionality. In addition, the findings revealed that the DM yalla serves five main discourse functions, namely: indicating the end of a conversation, signaling a topic shift, initiating a topic, taking a turn, and yielding a turn.

Full Text:



World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders. If you have any questions, please contact: