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ERIC Number: ED396548
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Discourse Markers across Language.
Fraser, Bruce
This paper discusses discourse markers (e.g., "and, so, anyway") and offers an overview of their characteristics and occurrence, using English for illustration. The role of discourse markers is to signal speaker comment on the current utterance. The discourse marker is not part of the sentence's propositional content. While absence of markers does not affect sentence grammaticality, it does remove a powerful clue about the speaker's perception of the relationship between prior and subsequent discourse. Each discourse marker may appear in a sentence-initial position; some may occur in sentence-medial or sentence-final position; however, in the latter cases, a change in marker scope occurs. Each discourse marker has an associated core meaning, part of which signals type of sequential relationship (e.g., change of topic, parallelism, etc.) and part of which provides the starting point for interpretation of the commentary message in a given case. Three types of discourse markers are examined: those signalling reference to the discourse topic; those signalling that current discourse activity relates to the foregoing discourse; and those signalling relationship of the basic current message to some prior message. Based on this conceptual framework, analysis of discourse markers in other languages in encouraged. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Discourse Markers
Note: In: "Pragmatics and Language Learning," Volume 4. Selected papers presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Pragmatics and Language Learning (6th, Urbana, IL, April 2-4, 1992); see FL 023 905.