Edited by Matthias Klumm, Anita Fetzer and Evelien Keizer
[Functions of Language 30:1] 2023
► pp. 16–40
This paper examines the linguistic realization of continuative discourse relations in British English written discourse comparing narrative and argumentative dyadically edited texts. The data comprise 18 co-edited texts and metadata documenting the editing process (keystroke logs and transcripts of the dyads negotiating discursive well-formedness). The focus of analysis lies on the linguistic realization of coordinating continuation and narration, which keep the discourse on the same level, and on the linguistic realization of subordinating elaboration and explanation, which introduce a deeper level in the discourse hierarchy. Special attention is paid to contexts in which the discourse relations are encoded in intra-clausal coherence strands, and to contexts in which they are additionally signalled in the peripheries. The quantitative analysis of the signalling of continuative discourse relations shows genre-specific preferences for the signalling of continuation and elaboration in the argumentative data, and continuation, narration and explanation in the narrative data. Both the products of the edited data, the co-edited texts, and the metadata show that the linguistic realization and interpretation of continuative discourse relations are – to varying degrees – subject to recontextualization. We suggest that this variation provides evidence for (1) discourse relations as constitutive parts of discourse grammar, and (2) genre as a blueprint which constrains their linguistic realization.