I was going to say / j’allais dire as discourse markers in contemporary English and French
This paper investigates two emerging discourse markers based on verbs of saying in English and French – I was going to say and j’allais dire. Relying on various comparable corpora, the author shows that the markers under scrutiny have developed a similar use as “reduced parenthetical clauses” mitigating discourse. The corpus study also reveals an interesting difference, namely that I was going to say stands as a topical transition marker in some of its uses. It is thus hypothesized that the two markers do not exactly follow the same pragmaticalisation path.
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