Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.493081
Title: Relevance theory and procedural meaning : the semantics and pragmatics of discourse markers in English and Arabic
Author: Hussein, Miri Muhammad
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2009
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Abstract:
The present study is an attempt to investigate the use of discourse markers in English and Arabic. The study uses Relevance Theory as a theoretical framework for the analysis of discourse markers in both Syrian and Standard Arabic. It benefits from Blakemore’s (1987, 2002) account of procedural meaning, in which she argues that discourse markers encode procedural meaning that constrains the inferential phase of the interpretation of the utterance in which they occur. According to Blakemore, the procedural meaning encoded by discourse markers controls the hearer’s choice of context under which the utterance is relevant. The study concentrates on ten discourse markers, five of which are only used in Standard Arabic. These are lakinna, bainama, lakin, bal and fa. The other five (bass, la-heik, la-ha-sabab, ma‘nāt-o and bi-ittal ī ) are only used in Syrian Arabic. The choice of these discourse markers has been motivated by the fact that they can be compared and contrasted with Blakemore’s two favoured discourse markers, but and so. The claim is that like so and but, such discourse markers encode procedural meaning that constrains the interpretation of the utterance in which they occur. The study argues that like but in English, bass in Syrian Arabic encodes a general procedure that can be implemented to derive different meanings such as ‘denial of expectation’, ‘contrast’, ‘correction’ and ‘cancellation’. The four discourse markers (lakinna, bainama, lakin and bal) used in Standard Arabic are analysed as lexical representations of these different implementations. The discourse marker fa, in this study, has also been analysed as encoding a general procedure that can be implemented to derive different meanings such as ‘sequentiality’, ‘immediacy’, ‘non-intervention’ and ‘causality’. It has also been argued that the procedure encoded by fa can put constraints on either the explicit or the implicit side of the interpretation of the utterance in which it occurs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Syrian Government and the Ministry of Higher Education
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.493081  DOI: Not available
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