International Workshop - Pragmatic Markers, Discourse Markers and Modal Particles: What do we know and where do we go from here?

Activity: Participating in or organising an academic or articstic eventConferencesResearch

Irina Pandarova - Speaker

‘I would never ever kick you up the arse. Sure I think you're great.’ The Irish English discourse marker sure and context accessing

The functions of sure in British and American English are relatively well known. Sure is used as a backchannel and an agreement marker similar to yes (Aijmer 2009; Tottie 1991). Its emphasizer function in lexical bundles of the type ‘(NP) sure + AUX’, as in He sure is an odd fellow has also been cited as a marker of Americanness (Aijmer 2009; Tottie 2002). Additionally, Aijmer (2009) suggests that sure developed as follows: manner adverb > epistemic adverb > interactive discourse marker. A very different, though related, type of sure, usually in utterance-initial and sometimes -final position, as in examples (1) and (2) below, has been attested for Irish English (cf. e.g. Amador-Moreno 2006; Walshe 2009). Its functions, however, are not yet well understood. (1)<S1A-032$E> <#> Oh hallelujah no football on Christmas Day <S1A-032$G> <#> There is on Boxing Day <#> Sure last year I had to play a football match on Boxing Day. (ICE-Ireland) (2)<S1A-035$A> <#> Do you like her <S1A-035$B> <#> I don't know her sure (ICE-Ireland) This paper offers an original relevance-theoretic account of Irish English sure as a discourse marker similar to after all (Blakemore 2002; Ariel 1998; Blass 2000), Hebrew harey (cf. e.g. Ariel 1998), German ja and doch (Blass 2000) and French puisque (Zufferey 2014). The data (audio recordings and the ICE-Ireland corpus) show that sure is phonologically reduced, semantically bleached, and multifunctional. On different occasions sure-utterances seem to indicate a contradiction or strengthening of a previous assumption. It is suggested that these apparent functions should be understood as different conversational implicatures which are often generated by sure-utterances. These are aided by the basic, procedural meaning of sure. Sure indicates that the material under its scope is considered by the speaker to represent a relevant contextual assumption against which an intended contextual implication can be drawn. This is a modified version of Ariel, Blass and Zufferey’s accounts, according to which, the information under the scope of harey, after all, ja, doch and puisque should also already be known to both speaker and hearer, or, alternatively, be mutually manifest. Using insights from Sperber et al.’s (2010) notion of epistemic vigilance, I argue that it is sufficient for the sure-proposition to be made accessible or more accessible to the hearer at the time of speaking. Finally, I suggest that sure-utterances are employed when the communicator perceives a (potential) disruption in the mutual cognitive environment he/she shares with the addressee. In this sense, it is intersubjective (Verhagen 2005). References Aijmer, K. (2009). The Pragmatics of Adverbs. In G. Rohdenburg & J. Schlüter (Eds.), One Language, Two Grammars? Differences between British and American English (pp. 324–340). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Amador-Moreno, C. P. (2006). The Use of Hiberno-English in Patrick MacGill’s Early Novels: Bilingualism and Language Shift from Irish to English in County Donegal. New York: The Edwin Mellen Press. Ariel, M. (1998). Discourse Markers and Form-Function Correlations. In A. Jucker & Y. Ziv (Eds.), Discourse Markers: Descriptions and Theory (pp. 223–259). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Ariel, M. (1999). Mapping So-Called “Pragmatic” Phenomena according to a “Linguistic- Extralinguistic” Distinction: The Case of Propositions Marked “Accessible.” In M. Darnell, E. Moravcsik, F. Newmeyer, M. Noonan, & K. Wheatley (Eds.), Functionalism and Formalism in Linguistics (pp. 11–38). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Blakemore, D. (2002). Relevance and Linguistic Meaning: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Blass, R. (2000). Particles, Propositional Attitude and Mutual Manifestness. In G. Andersen & T. Fretheim (Eds.), Pragmatic Markers and Propositional Attitude (pp. 39–52). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Sperber, D., Clément, F., Heintz, C., Mascaro, O., Mercier, H., Origgi, G., & Wilson, D. (2010). Epistemic Vigilance. Mind & Language, 25(4), 359–393. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0017.2010.01394.x Tottie, G. (1991). Conversational Style in British and American English: The Case of Backchannels. In K. Aijmer & B. Altenberg (Eds.), English Corpus Linguistics (pp. 254–271). London: Longman. Tottie, G. (2002). An Introduction to American English. Oxford & Malden, MA: Blackwell. Verhagen, A. (2005). Constructions of Intersubjectivity: Discourse, Syntax and Cognition. Oxford: Oulu University Press. Walshe, S. (2009). Irish English as Represented in Film. Frankfurt am Main: Lang. Zufferey, S. (2014). Givenness, Procedural Meaning and Connectives. The Case of French Puisque. Journal of Pragmatics, 62, 121–135.
International Workshop - Pragmatic Markers, Discourse Markers and Modal Particles: What do we know and where do we go from here?


International Workshop - Pragmatic Markers, Discourse Markers and Modal Particles: What do we know and where do we go from here?


Como, Italy

Event: Workshop