Article published in:Discourse linguistics: Theory and practice
Edited by Karin Aijmer and Anita Fetzer
[Functions of Language 21:1] 2014
► pp. 95–118
Discourse patterns in the development of discourse markers in English
The role of discourse frequency in the development of two English connectives is explored, in the context of recent work emphasizing the role of syntagmatic relations in language change and suggesting that it is constructions, rather than lexical items, which grammaticalize. The development of sub-constructions with in fact and at least are traced in a quantitative study based on corpora of formal and informal historical English. Each case involves an adverbial undergoing functional split as the clausal structure in which it is used becomes aligned with different discourse (sub-)constructions. In fact becomes both contrastive and elaborative; at least becomes evaluative and reformulative. It is shown how the adverbial expression in each case becomes compressed and more abstract, so that its informational weight is reduced, and how the English principle of end focus pushes it increasingly towards clause-initial position, resulting in alignment with the connective construction.
Published online: 07 April 2014
Aikhenvald, Alexandra Y..
Brinton, Laurel J..
Brinton, Laurel J. & Elizabeth C. Traugott.
2003 Mechanisms of change in grammaticization: The role of frequency. In Brian D. Joseph & Richard D. Janda (eds.), 602–623.
Gries, Stefan Th.
Halliday, M.A.K. & Christian Matthiessen.
Hovy, Eduard H. & Elisabeth Maier.
1995 Parsimonious or profligate? How many and which discourse structure relations? Technical report, University of Southern California.
Joseph, Brian D. & Richard D. Janda (
Lewis, Diana M..
2006 Discourse markers in English: A discourse-pragmatic view. In Kerstin Fischer (ed.), 43–59.
Mann, William C. & Sandra A. Thompson.
2006 Formal properties of a subset of discourse markers: Connectives. In Kerstin Fischer (ed.), 299–314.
Schwenter, Scott & Elizabeth C. Traugott.
Simon-Vandenbergen, Anne-Marie & Karin Aijmer.
Sweetser, Eve E..
Traugott, Elizabeth C..
1995 The role of the development of discourse markers in a theory of grammaticalization. Paper presented at the Twelfth International Conference on Historical Linguistics (ICHL-12) , Manchester, August 1995.
2003 Constructions in grammaticalization. In Brian D. Joseph & Richard D. Janda (eds.), 624–647.
2011 Towards an integrated account of grammatical constructionalization. Paper given at the 44th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europeae , Logroño, 8–11 September 2011.
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs & Graeme Trousdale.
Cited by 1 other publications
Ziegeler, Debra, Eric Mélac & Volker Gast
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 26 august 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.