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I'll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours-2

From:Jim Grossmann <jimg@...>
Date:Tuesday, March 16, 1999, 6:26
>Pardon my ignorance, Jim, but what's a discourse marker?
>-kristian- 8-)
No need to apologize for your ignorance; I know little about these constituents myself. From what I understand, these constituents convey information about the discourse (conversation, text, etc.) rather than standing for things referred to by words and sentences. For instance, "ummm," is a discourse marker. Instead of referring to a class of ums, it lets the listener know that the speaker wants to hold the floor but cannot speak further without taking the time to think. "indeed," "in fact," "by the way," and "so" have been identified as discourse markers: they identify bits of the discourse as means of emphasis, truths, tangental subjects, or statements about the consequences of things referrred to by previous statements. There are many other discourse markers, including "oh." I was hoping to learn more about discourse markers by asking the people on this list for information. I figured that the most fun way to do this would be to see what discourse marker schemes they had. I have actually started working on a system of discourse markers that seems fairly novel to me, but I need more information to complete the system. It won't be an exhaustive system: discourse gets marked and discourse rules get communicated in enough ways to fill books that would take me a long time to read and understand. But I think I have a small number of common discourse markers that should suffice for all the stuff I need to explicate. (A lot of discourse rules can remain implicit for the purposes of a basic reference grammar whose primary emphasis is on syntax.) ANYWAY (gee, that's a discourse marker too in this context) any help you or anyone else can give me will be more than appreciated! Jim