Well Breaking Bad: English well and its Hungarian counterparts in scripted dialogues

Source document: Theory and Practice in English Studies. 2013, vol. 6, iss. 2, pp. [143]-168
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The aim of our paper is to map the functional spectrum of non-conceptual (i.e. discourse marker) uses of English well in a corpus based on the transcripts of the popular TV series Breaking Bad. In the first part of the paper, after some preliminary notes about methods of investigating the use of discourse markers, we will provide an overview of previous accounts of well as well as its most frequent Hungarian translation equivalents hát and nos. In the second, empirical part of the paper a corpus-based analysis of the most salient functions of well will be given with special reference to its translation equivalents and the contextual factors underlying the choice of specific translation options. By way of conclusion, we will argue that a cross-linguistic study of discourse markers in a translation corpus might reveal functions as well as contexts of use that have not been the focus of monolingual studies. Our results also suggest that well is used more widely and in a variety of contexts (e.g. as a reformulation marker) where Hungarian hát would be inappropriate and would convey unwanted implicatures.
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