Patterns of (inter)subjectivity
Asymmetries for Glaswegian peripheral but
The prevalent hypothesis in research on pragmatic markers suggests that the left periphery of an utterance attracts predominantly subjective meanings, whereas the right periphery is the locus of intersubjective meanings. The goal of this paper is to test this hypothesis for but as used in a dataset of spoken Glaswegian English, a variety in which but may occur in both left- and right-peripheral positions. Considering that but derives its discursive meaning not per se, but from its embeddedness in particularized contexts, the methodological framework integrates the notion of (inter)subjectivity with the interactional-sociolinguistic concept of contextualization cue to identify (inter)subjective patterned co-occurrences for but. A fine-grained analysis of the patterns but forms with subjective and intersubjective cues in its local linguistic context shows that discourse patterns of left-peripheral but tend to foreground subjective meanings, while discourse patterns of right-peripheral but tend to foreground more intersubjective meanings, supporting the hypothesis of peripheral asymmetry.
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