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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy. Log In Sign Up. Journal of Pragmatics 44 , pp. Maria Josep Cuenca. Clar is primarily lexically described as an adjective, but it has developed different functions in various syntactic and pragmatic contexts. Introduction Discourse markers and modality markers are directly related.

In addition, the analysis of discourse markers uncovers that some of them have a hybrid nature, since they exhibit structural or frame and modal or qualifying functions. E-mail address: maria.

Moreover, from a diachronic point of view, subjectification and intersubjectification processes as described by Traugott and her associates e. The data were obtained through a semi- structured interview protocol that consisted of 5 tasks designed to elicit different types of text: narrative, descriptive, instructive, expository and argumentative. For our analysis only the Catalan texts have been selected. The texts analysed, produced by bilingual or almost bilingual speakers Catalan-Spanish , include 37, words.

The analysis of the corpora highlights the frequency and key-role of a group of markers that blend modal and structural functions to a different extent. The frequency and some of the uses of these units can be illustrated by the following example, in which the participants are talking about the difficulties in deciding a date for a wedding: 1 NAA..

The experiential tasks were the following: narrative A dangerous, risky, etc. According to these conventions, the text is segmented into intonation groups and pauses; inhalations, exhalations and other relevant features are marked See Appendix B for a list of the transcription conventions used here.

In the two Catalan corpora analysed there are examples including clar: examples in the casual conversation corpus COC and 31 in the interview corpus CAP. In other words, interaction and subjectivity increase the frequency of this marker, especially in modal uses. The intermediate uses, corresponding to parenthetical uses of the marker, are key-items to identify the fuzzy limits between discourse and modal marking.

Quirk et al. Regarding its functions, Pons differentiates several values of Spanish claro i. Maldonado also explores the polysemy of claro as an increase of inter subjective values from a basic objective attributive meaning to inter subjectivity and presupposition reinforcement. Maldonado 88 In the construction of the base meaning of claro there is a pressupposition that some knowledge must be accessible to the interlocutor, whether he is the listener or a group belonging to the same cultural domain.

For these pressuppositions to be activated it is only necessary to assume that what is clearly perceptible or conceptualisable for the speaker so it is for the listener and others. Based on this function, these particles can exercise another much more important one in conversational interaction: that of triggering 5 Although it might seem paradoxical, it is not unusual that markers blending modal and structural meanings purport functions that might seem contradictory such as mitigation and emphasis see Cuenca , for an analysis of this phenomenon in the case of well.

Then the question that arises is: Is it a modal marker or a discourse maker? Is it both depending on the context of use?

The analysis of the different configuration in which clar appears can shed some light on this matter. Discourse markers and modal markers As a previous step in our analysis, the main classes that can act as discourse or modal markers will be generally defined. The basic difference between both classes can be determined by considering that discourse markers, at least in their more traditional definition as connective elements or items that bracket units of talk, are two position operators, i.

As a consequence, DMs operate at sentence or discourse level, have variable scope and generally also a variable syntactic position, whereas MMs operate at speech-act level. It is hardly controversial that conjunctions e. Conjunctions are linking words that indicate grammatical relationships traditionally identified with subordination or coordination and various propositional meanings namely, addition, disjunction, contrast, concession, cause, consequence, condition, purpose, comparison, time, place, manner.

They typically introduce clauses in compound sentences, as in 2. But the prospect of economic growth rising by a further half- point during the next six months raised fears on the international currency markets of an uncontrolled expansion and increased concern about inflation throughout Europe. The gap was being filled by the arrivals. Nonetheless, short-term unemployment among the refugees is likely to remain high. At present, about a third of the arrivals are unemployed.

But it can be argued that when used as utterance introducers they are not adverbs despite their form or the fact that in other contexts their use is adverbial. In fact, not all of them correspond to adverbs stricto sensu in Catalan most of these items are prepositional phrases formally and they no longer behave as adverbs.

Parenthetical connectives are syntactically and generally also prosodically detached items indicating basic logico-argumentative meanings that can be grouped together in four basic types, namely, addition, disjunction, contrast, and consequence. In 4 , nonetheless makes explicit the contrastive link—concessive, specifically—between the following sentence and the previous two.

Parenthetical connectives can combine with conjunctions: 5 The rises, he said, were predictable, but nonetheless very disappointing. Conjunctions are more frequent and varied in use at sentence level and only some of them mainly and and but are used at text level. Parenthetical connectives are typical text connectives, though they can be used at sentence level on their own or following a conjunction with a similar or compatible meaning. On the other pole of the gradient, we find modal adverbs, interjections and modal particles.

Adverbs can be identified as words or phrases that are verbal adjuncts or sentence specifiers indicating manner or modality in a broad sense. Interjections and modal particles are more difficult to define.

They are sentence or utterance equivalents, since they can be used as a complete utterance. London: Boxtree, ] In the previous example gee stands for a whole utterance. If we retrieve the context of appearance, its meaning becomes clearer: 6 b. Since interjections have a very schematic and context-depending meaning, it is not unusual that they are followed by a segment that specifies it. Come on; yer Aunty Ashley'll buy you a coffee and a sticky bun. Banks, Iain. London: Abacus, ] In these uses, interjections specially phatic and metalinguistic ones resemble discourse markers as the limit between expressing a modal value and introducing an utterance becomes blurry.

That is the case of ja in the following example in German: 8 Udo hat ja Gerda geheiratet. Jacobs, In spite of the previous definitions, the picture is not complete yet. In between the modal and the connective poles, it is possible to identify a number of units that share some of the defining characteristics of both types of markers.

London: Boxtree, ] In the previous example, well is a parenthetical particle that introduces a turn and announces a dispreferred answer to the previous question. It mitigates an utterance that conveys disagreement. Markers such as well, that I we have called pragmatic connectives, are syntactically and prosodically detached items that typically preface an utterance and combine frame and modal meanings. They are mainly used in oral texts, bracketing units of talk such as interventions, turns or units within turns and also indicating interactional meanings e.

They can combine with other connectives. In conclusion, modal markers and discourse markers are directly related and some classes or rather some of their members can be located in the transition zones, as will be developed in section 6. The different configurations found in the two corpora are shown in Table 1. Table 1. Morphologically, two forms can be clearly distinguished: a variable form, which is inflected for gender and number the adjective: clar, clara, clars, clares , and several structural configurations in which clar is an invariable form, as summarised in Table 1.

The adjectival uses are not frequent in our corpora,8 in contrast with the uninflected ones only 13 out of When clar is uninflected, the unit can either be modal an adverb, an interjection or a marker or can correspond to a conjunction.

The modal uses are those that illustrate the fuzzy limits between modal and discourse marking. His analysis further develops the adjectival and adverbial uses in Spanish. We will assign a number to each function in order to propose a gradient from content to modal and finally to structural i. There are no occurrences of this use in our corpora, but the dictionary includes the following examples:9 10 a.

Un cel, un temps, clar. Una casa clara, una cambra clara. Fer un dia clar. His analysis further develops the adjectival and adverbial uses. Adverbial uses The invariable uses having clar as a nucleus correspond to different syntactic and pragmatic functions that, although sometimes very close to one another, can be differentiated.

The comments following the examples will try to establish the precise meaning in each case. It cannot be considered a proper interjection either, since it cannot occur isolation, that is, if the following utterance is deleted, the structure would not work. In these uses, it is more structural than interjections and more modal than conjunctions. Let us analyse some examples.

In 19 clar introduces a side explanation why the girl was driving fast. In this use, the limits with the prototypical modal uses, as an adverb or interjection, are sometimes difficult to establish. It indicates that the speaker agrees with the addressee about something that is generally known or could be generally accepted.

As a consequence, in monological contexts the framing function is foregrounded, as in These functions are especially outstanding when it occurs inside a turn. As the previous example illustrates, whenever clar follows a conjunction or another discourse marker, it reinforces the propositional meaning of the upcoming segment adding a modal sense of certainty. It is an upgrading device that presents a cause, a consequence or an antithesis as obvious, i.

Therefore, the contrastive meaning implicit in the contraposition of two facts has become codified in a new category form, the conjunction clar que, which is clearly a discourse markers acting at sentence level. Discussion Our analysis has shown that clar is the core element of different categorical configurations, some of which are modal.

Similarly, some authors have identified contrastive meanings in some uses of of course. Halliday and Hasan distinguish two forms of of course: the full form, which is considered non- cohesive —and corresponds to the adverbial use—, and the reduced form, which is considered cohesive and slightly adversative.

Similarly, Maldonado relates this use and other corrective uses to the marking of an affirmation as obvious, which announces that the previous idea will be completed or presented under a new perspective. As already pointed out, Pons describes claro as a polysemous word, originally an adjective indicating a positive quality, that can be modal or connective in some contexts, and Maldonado provides an exhaustive analysis of the main uses of this unit from a conceptual point of view, assuming that they can all be related to its basic adjectival meaning.


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