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Discourse Markers in Political Speeches - College Paper

Discourse Markers in Political Speeches

Discourse markers in English: a discourse-pragmatic view

Diana M. Lewis

0. Introduction

0.1. Approach

A glance at a sample of English spontaneous conversation is likely to find it peppered with expressions such as well, I mean, so, in fact, though, of course, anyway, actually, on the other hand, commonly described as discourse particles or discourse markers.1 Although they have attracted particular attention from linguists working on the spoken language, these and similar expressions permeate written language too.

This chapter takes the view that the discoursal use of the expressions mentioned above is part of the wider phenomenon of speakers' attitudes towards the ideas they ...

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many recent studies of individual discourse-marking expressions, often based on corpus data, have provided valuable insights into the phenomenon. Nonetheless, our understanding of discourse markers is still sketchy. First, the category itself is poorly defined: a plethora of category labels refers to overlapping groups of expressions. Do the sorts of expression that have been dubbed discourse markers form a natural class or are they, rather, a collection of misfits? This problem of definition is addressed in section 1. Second, there has been uncertainty over how to characterize discourse marker meanings, and this has sometimes led to claims that these are purely pragmatic. What, if any, are the semantic values of discourse markers? Why are the forms used for discourse marking so typically polyfunctional? The semantic field of discourse marking and the striking polyfunctionality of many relevant expressions are discussed in section 2. Section 3 argues that discourse ...

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it means either that they are not a syntactic category, or that our syntactic models are inadequate. English expressions commonly categorized as markers can usually be described as sub-types of sentence adverbial, parentheticals, conjunctions or transparent predicates, all of which must surely be accounted for by any adequate syntactic theory.2

The motivation for bringing syntactically diverse expressions together under the 'discourse marker' label is nevertheless the observation of form-function regularity: similarity of discourse function and similarity of structure. Relevant forms may be used for discourse marking to varying degrees. In English, 'discourse marker' refers to a ...

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"Discourse Markers in Political Speeches." Essayworld.com. March 7, 2014. Accessed October 2, 2022. http://www.essayworld.com/essays/Discourse-Markers-in-Political-Speeches/103784.
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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/7/2014 09:39:34 AM
Submitted By: debbyhan
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 8507
Pages: 31

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