Chapter in:Pragmatic Markers and Peripheries
Edited by Daniël Van Olmen and Jolanta Šinkūnienė
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 325] 2021
Functional asymmetry and left-to-right movement
Speaking of peripheries
This corpus-based study of the discourse marker speaking of X addresses the issues of functional asymmetry and left-to-right movement. It shows that speaking of X has different pragmatic functions, which may express different degrees of (inter)subjectivity in different peripheral positions. But these functions are not strictly confined to certain peripheries and, diachronically, there is no statistically significant evidence of further (inter)subjectification or change in peripheral preferences. This study thus confirms that the functional asymmetry hypothesis is better understood as a strong tendency that holds better for certain functional domains than for others and it serves as a counterexample to the related left-to-right movement hypothesis therewith.
Keywords: discourse marker, periphery, functional asymmetry, (inter)subjectivity