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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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Book Information

   

Title: Discourse Markers in Colombian Spanish
Subtitle: A Study in Polysemy
Written By: Catherine E. Travis
URL: http://www.degruyter.de/rs/bookSingle.cfm?id=IS-3110181614-1&l=D
Series Title: Cognitive Linguistics Research 27
Description:

Of interest to: Students and Scholars of Romance Linguistics, Discourse
Studies and Cognitive Linguistics; Academic Libraries; Institutes

This book presents a semantic analysis of a set of four functionally
related discourse markers that are particularly frequent in conversational
Colombian Spanish. A corpus of four hours of spontaneous conversation is
used to study the markers bueno 'well, OK', pues 'well, then', o sea 'I
mean, that is to say' and entonces 'so, then'.

Through a detailed analysis of numerous examples drawn from the corpus, and
employing both quantitative and qualitative techniques, it is demonstrated
that, contrary to popular belief, discourse markers are not just functional
particles with indeterminate or context-based semantics. Rather, they have
inherent meanings which can be identified and exhaustively defined with an
appropriate semantic methodology, such as is provided by the Natural
Semantic Metalanguage approach. This study illustrates that this approach,
which has been widely applied to the semantics of the lexicon and the
grammar, can be extended to the semantics of discourse-based features,
supporting the notion that meaning of all aspects of language forms one
semantic system.

This research also has implications for the study of polysemy, in that it
operationalizes the little understood, but classical definition of polysemy
of items with 'a shared element of meaning', and it demonstrates that the
polysemous relations of discourse markers are centered around an invariant
core that can be identified on the basis of their use in discourse. As one
of the first corpus-based studies to present a semantic account of the
multifunctional nature of discourse markers this book makes an important
contribution to research on the relationship between semantics and
discourse-pragmatics, and polysemy in discourse.

Catherine E. Travis is Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico,
Albuquerque.

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Publication Year: 2005
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Linguistic Theories
Semantics
Text/Corpus Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Spanish
Language Family(ies): Romance
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110181614
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xiv, 328 pages
Prices: U.S. $ 128.00
Europe EURO 98.00