Discourse markers in spoken Italian. The functions of senti and guarda.

Fuschi L (2015)
Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.

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Bielefeld Dissertation | English
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The work presents an analysis of the discourse markers 'senti' and 'guarda' in present-day spoken Italian, based on two corpora of natural data. 'Senti' and 'guarda' formally correspond with the second person imperative of the verbs 'sentire' ('to hear', 'to listen') and 'guardare' ('to look'). They thus belong to that cross-linguistically widespread class of markers that can be called "deverbal", i.e. originating in verb forms (such as the English 'you know', 'listen', 'look', and 'you see'). 'Senti' and 'guarda' occur very frequently in spoken language. Their use is not restricted to informal speech, even though this is often regarded as the most typical environment for discourse markers. In fact, they are found in interaction types as varied as familiar conversation, talk-shows, and courtroom trials. Both items are currently mentioned in studies that present an inventory of Italian discourse markers. However, only few studies have been specifically devoted to them and we are still lacking insight into wide areas of their functioning. The aim of my work is to provide such an insight by means of an in-depth corpus analysis. The study proceeds in a strictly data-driven fashion, which means that I do not start with any pre-defined functional categories in mind, but instead I strive to work out the markers' functions from the data I have. The corpora amount to ca 42 hours of recorded interaction altogether. The analysis follows a bottom-up direction: I begin with the examination of every token in its context, drawing primarily on methods from Conversation Analysis. On this basis, I work out general functions that subsume the more specific, context-determined effects. The result consists in the description, for each marker, of a set of observably recurrent functions that account for its bearing on different interactional levels, and, finally, of one basic function by which all uses of a marker can be explained in a unified way. Besides describing 'senti' and 'guarda' individually, the study also includes a comparison between the two. This is done by contrasting features of the environments in which they appear in a quantitative perspective. The comparison aims to highlight specific properties of each marker and give tangible evidence for their functional difference. Moreover, the procedure thereby developed is intended as tool that can be used for comparative analyses of other markers in future.
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Fuschi L. Discourse markers in spoken Italian. The functions of senti and guarda. Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld; 2015.
Fuschi, L. (2015). Discourse markers in spoken Italian. The functions of senti and guarda.. Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
Fuschi, L. (2015). Discourse markers in spoken Italian. The functions of senti and guarda. Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
Fuschi, L., 2015. Discourse markers in spoken Italian. The functions of senti and guarda., Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld.
L. Fuschi, Discourse markers in spoken Italian. The functions of senti and guarda., Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld, 2015.
Fuschi, L.: Discourse markers in spoken Italian. The functions of senti and guarda. Universität Bielefeld, Bielefeld (2015).
Fuschi, Laura. Discourse markers in spoken Italian. The functions of senti and guarda. Bielefeld: Universität Bielefeld, 2015.
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