Publication details [#57063]

Sakita, Tomoko I. 2013. Discourse markers as stance markers: Well in stance alignment in conversational interaction. Pragmatics & Cognition 21 (1) : 81–116.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Stance is inherent in conversational interaction and is interactional in nature. When speakers take a stance, they pay attention to both prior stances and stance relations, as well as to the anticipated consequences of their stancetaking. They manage stance relations as a way of dealing with the “sociocognitive relations” of intersubjectivity (Du Bois 2007). Using the dialogic framework proposed by Du Bois, this paper shows that the discourse marker Well in American English works as a resource for the management of relationships among stances. With its referential and grammatical flexibility, it is uniquely characterized as a meta-stance marker because, rather than indexing a specific stance, it negotiates and regulates stance relations. Well is analyzed in two contextual categories: first, at stance divergence among utterances, and second, at stance shifts embedded in topic shift.