Toward fused lects: Discourse markers in Hebrew English bilingual conversation twelve years later

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Thisstudy is a detailed voyage into the bilingualism of two Israeli Hebrew English bilinguals. I compare their patterns of discourse marker employment at two points in their lifetime, twelve years apart. The study thus adds a diachronic dimension to previous accounts of their bilingual linguistic behavior. Maschler (1997b) describes two patterns concerning grammati cization of discourse markers into an emergent bilingual grammar in the speech of one of these bilinguals in the earlier corpus-(1) the separation in language of the discourse from its metalingual frame of discourse markers, and (2) the separation in language of discourse markers from conjunctions. Twelve yearslater,Ifindfurthergrammaticizationwith respecttothefirstpattern, and reduced grammaticization with respect to the second. Maschler (1998b) shows differential grammaticization of discourse markers according to the contextual realm (Becker,1988) in which they operate. Twelve years later, I find that cognitive and textual discourse markers show further grammaticization quantitatively, whereas interpersonal discourse markers show further grammaticization qualitatively. Another pattern found in Maschler (1997b) concerns competing motivations (Du Bois, 1985) for expressing contrast-structural contrast between discourse markers and conjunctions on the one hand, and referential contrast between contrasting propositions on the other. External motivations (expressing referential contrast) were shown to override internal motivations (those pertaining to the structure of the bilingual grammar). Twelve years later, this overriding is even more apparent. In this way, the movement towards fused lects (Auer, 1999) isnevercomplete, at least not in the course of the twelve years of this bilingual'slife.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-561
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Bilingualism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2000


  • Hebrew-English bilingual conversation
  • discourse markers
  • fused lects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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