The discourse marker znači in Serbian: An analysis of semi-formal academic discourse
Sabina Halupka-Rešetar and Biljana Radic-Bojanic
Among the rare treatments of discourse markers in South Slavic languages (Miškovi? 2001, 2003; Fielder 2008; Dedai? and Miškovi?-Lukovi? 2010; Premilovac 2010; Miškovi?-Lukovi? and Dedai? 2012), the Serbian discourse marker zna?i, evolved from the lexical verb zna?iti (‘to mean’), has so far gone unnoticed. Based on a corpus of approximately 6.5 hours of recorded semi-formal student-teacher conversations, the paper analyzes the pragmatic aspects of the discourse marker zna?i. The key questions that are addressed are: (a) what discursive environments zna?i occurs in; and more importantly, (b) what pragmatic effects the speakers intend to achieve by using this discourse marker. The pragmatics of zna?i is explored in order to establish whether in each individual case it is used (a) as a marker of various types of reformulation, such as expansion or compression, (b) as a means of concluding, or (c) whether it serves an interactional function.