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.

Quick links
A browser-friendly version of this article is not yet available. View PDF
Bezuidenhout, Anne L
(2004) Procedural meaning and the semantics/pragmatics interface. In C. Bianci (ed.), The Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction. Stanford: CSLI Publications, pp.101-131.Google Scholar
Blakemore, Diane
(1987) Semantic Constraints on Relevance. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
(1992) Understanding Utterances. Oxford: Blackwell.  BoPGoogle Scholar
Brinton, Laurel
(1996) Pragmatic Markers in English: Grammaticalization and Discourse Functions. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Brown, Gillian, and George Yule
(1983) Discourse Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Charteris-Black, Jonathan
(2011) Politicians and Rhetoric: The Persuasive Power of Metaphor. 2nd edition. Basingstoke & New York: Palgrave Macmillan. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Dedaić, Mirjana
(2005) Ironic denial: Tobože in Croatian political discourse. Journal of Pragmatics 37: 667-683. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
(2010) Reformulating and concluding: The pragmatics of the Croatian discourse marker dakle . In M. Dedaić, and M. Mišković-Luković (eds.), South Slavic Discourse Particles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 107-131. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Dedaić, Mirjana N., and Mirjana Mišković-Luković
(eds.) (2010) South Slavic Discourse Particles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Del Saz Rubio, Milagros
(2007) English Discourse Markers of Reformulation. Bern: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
Del Saz Rubio, Milagros and Bruce Fraser
Del Saz-Rubio, Mª Milagros, and Barry Pennock-Speck
(2005) Discourse markers of reformulation from the perspective of grammaticalization. In María Luisa Carrió Pastor (ed.), Perspectivas Interdisciplinares de la Lingüística Aplicada. Vol. II. Valencia: Universitat Politècnica de València, pp. 89-100.Google Scholar
DuBois, John W
(2006) Basic symbols for discourse transcription by topic. Retrieved from: www​.linguistics​.ucsb​.edu​/projects​/transcription​/AO2asymbols​.pdf (16 December 2013)
Fielder, Grace
(2008) The status of discourse markers as Balkanisms in South Slavic. In C.Y. Bethin (ed.), American Contributions to the 14th International Congress of Slavists, vol. 1. Bloomington, IN: Slavica, pp. 1-19.Google Scholar
Fraser, Bruce
(1996) Pragmatic markers. Pragmatics 6: 167-190.  BoP CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Halliday, Michael Alexander Kirkwood
(1967) Notes on transitivity and theme in English. Part 2. Journal of Linguistics 3: 177-274. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Kovač, Mirjana Matea, and Damir Horga
(2010) Poštapalice u hrvatskom jeziku [Fillers in the Croatian Language]. Lingua Montenegrina 3: 139-164.Google Scholar
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
(2009) 5th edition. Harlow: Pearson Education. Available at http://​www​.ldoceonline​.com/Google Scholar
Macmillan English Dictionary for Advanced Learners
(2007) 2nd edition. Oxford: Macmillan Education. Available at http://​www​.macmillandictionaries​.com​/about​/med/Google Scholar
Mišković, Mirjana
(2001) The particle BAŠ in contemporary Serbian. Pragmatics 11: 17-30. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
(2003) Relevance-theoretic semantics and the Serbian pragmatic marker KAO. In D. Klikovac, and K. Rasulić (eds.), Jezik, društvo, saznanje: Profesoru Ranku Bugarskom od njegovih studenata. [Language, Society, Cognition: To Professor Ranko Bugarski From His Students] Belgrade: Filološki fakultet, pp. 164-184.Google Scholar
Mišković-Luković, Mirjana
(2010) Markers of conceptual adjustment: Serbian baš and kao . In M. Dedaić, and M. Mišković-Luković (eds.), South Slavic Discourse Particles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 65-89. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Mišković-Luković, Mirjana, and Mirjana Dedaić
(2012) The discourse marker odnosno at the ICTY: A case of disputed translation in war crime trials. Journal of Pragmatics 44: 1355-1377. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Mosegaard Hansen, Maj-Britt
(1997)  Alors and donc in spoken French: A reanalysis. Journal of Pragmatics 28: 153-187. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Nikolić, Miroslav
(ed.) (2007) Rečnik srpskoga jezika [Dictionary of the Serbian Language]. Novi Sad: Matica srpska.Google Scholar
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary
(2011) 8th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at http://​oald8​.oxfordlearnersdictionaries​.com/Google Scholar
Piper, Predrag, and Ivan Klajn
(2013) Normativna gramatika srpskog jezika [Normative grammar of the Serbian language]. Novi Sad: Matica srpska.Google Scholar
Premilovac, Aida
(2010) The Bosnian discourse particle ono . In M. Dedaić, and M. Mišković-Luković (eds.), South Slavic Discourse Particles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 91-108. CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Schiffrin, Deborah
(1987) Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Schourup, Lawrence
(1999) Discourse markers. Lingua 107: 227-265. Crossref  BoPGoogle Scholar
Silić, Josip
(1984) Od rečenice do teksta. [From Sentence to Text]. Zagreb: Sveućilišna naklada Liber.Google Scholar
Velčić, Mirna
(1987) Uvod u lingvistiku teksta. [Introduction to Text Linguistics]. Zagreb: Školska knjiga.Google Scholar