Discourse markers: Language, meaning, and context

Yael Maschler, Deborah Schiffrin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter reviews three influential perspectives in research on discourse markers: Schiffrin's discourse perspective, Fraser's pragmatic approach, and Maschler's functional interactional linguistics perspective. These three approaches are compared with respect to the ways they account for the sources of discourse markers, metalanguage, prosody, the boundary between discourse markers and conjunctions, the relationship between discourse markers and contextual realms, and the integration of discourse-marker analysis into the study of language. This is followed by a review of a considerable subset of recent studies dealing with discourse markers as they are employed across different contexts, across languages (including code-switching at discourse markers in bilingual discourse), and over time (including both diachronic and synchronic studies of grammaticization processes undergone by discourse markers). The chapter concludes with a consideration of what different approaches to the study of discourse markers teach us about conceptions of discourse and grammar

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Discourse Analysis
EditorsDeborah Tannen, Heidi E. Hamilton, Deborah Schiffrin
Place of PublicationChichester, UK
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Pages189 - 221
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781118584194
ISBN (Print)9780470670743
StatePublished - 9 Oct 2015


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