A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.
The importance of discourse markers (words like 'so', 'however', and
'well') lies in the theoretical questions they raise about the nature of
discourse and the relationship between linguistic meaning and context. They
are regarded as being central to semantics because they raise problems for
standard theories of meaning, and to pragmatics because they seem to play a
role in the way discourse is understood. In this new and important study,
Diane Blakemore argues that attempts to analyse these expressions within
standard semantic frameworks raise even more problems, while their analysis
as expressions that link segments of discourse has led to an unproductive
and confusing exercise in classification. She concludes that the exercise
in classification that has dominated discourse marker research should be
replaced by the investigation of the way in which linguistic expressions
contribute to the inferential processes involved in utterance understanding.