English discourse markers in mediatised political interviews

Zdrojový dokument: Brno studies in English. 2014, roč. 40, č. 1, s. [45]-64
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence
The present case study takes a discourse-pragmatic approach to some of the most frequently used discourse markers (henceforth DMs) in spoken English: I mean, of course, oh, well, I think and you know. The point of departure in this research is a set of discourse-pragmatic relations and functions, such as conversation management, thematic control, concession, elaboration, reformulation, ventriloquizing, and marking evidentiality. After looking at which DMs signal these relations and functions in our corpora, we identify a set of English DMs whose members display markedly different pragmatic behaviours across various subgenres of spoken English such as naturally-occurring conversations and mediatised political interviews. We examine their use in a corpus of political interviews broadcast in English by the BBC and CNN between 2003 and 2011, and compare our results with previous research, performed on the basis of spontaneous, everyday conversations. Our paper has a threefold goal: (1) to present examples of the various discourse-organizing roles and strategic uses of the DMs; (2) to discuss the differences between the selected English DMs' functions across different subgenres of spoken English discourse; and (3) to answer whether or not the uses of the selected discourse markers differ across the various discourse types/genres (spoken English vs. different types of political interviews).
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