By Simone Müller

Whereas discourse markers were tested in a few element, little is understood approximately their utilization via non-native audio system. This ebook offers invaluable insights into the features of 4 discourse markers (so, good, you recognize and prefer) in local and non-native English discourse, including to either discourse marker literature and to experiences within the pragmatics of learner language. It offers an intensive research at the foundation of a considerable parallel corpus of spoken language. during this corpus, American scholars who're local audio system of English and German non-native audio system of English retell and speak about a silent motion picture. all the major chapters of the ebook is devoted to 1 discourse marker, giving a close research of the capabilities this discourse marker fulfills within the corpus and a quantitative comparability among the 2 speaker teams. The booklet additionally develops a two-level version of discourse marker features comprising a textual and an interactional point.

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How do markers achieve this discourse-organizing task? Despite the fact that they use different frameworks, Schiffrin and Blakemore both take discourse markers to help the hearer interpret the following utterance. Schiffrin suggests that “markers select a meaning relation from whatever potential meanings are provided through the content of talk, and then display that relation” (Schiffrin 1987: 318, without emphasis). Since coherence relations depend “to a large extent on (the addressee’s interpretation of) the content of the units involved” (Risselada and Spooren 1998: 132), discourse markers thus contribute to coherence.

Thereafter the evidence is interpreted by the scholar directly. (Sinclair 2001: xi) Manual analysis is an important feature of all the studies mentioned above; if we want to discover the functions of discourse markers, we need to consider not only their lexical context, but also the pragmatic context. This is a task a computer is hardly able to do; instead, it requires human interpretation. ] is comparison; comparison uncovers differences almost regardless of size” (Sinclair 2001: xii). The “almost” in his statement is certainly significant if we want to gain reliable evidence; however, there is a point in claiming that technique and purpose of the investigation are more important for the type of corpus than its size.

Without (permanently) living in an English-language context? In the beginning of this chapter, I quoted an illustration by Svartvik on the negative effect of lacking discourse markers in the speech of a foreign language learner. Svartvik Chapter 1. Introduction himself, however, investigated neither the performance of learners nor how they might be taught the use of markers. One of the first papers which dealt with how a foreign language learner might acquire competence in this area came from Germany in 1989, with Russian as a foreign language.

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