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The importance of discourse markers (words like 'so', 'however', and 'well') lies in the theoretical questions they raise about the nature of discourse and the relationship between linguistic meaning and context. They are regarded as being central to semantics because they raise problems for standard theories of meaning, and to pragmatics because they seem to play a role in the way discourse is understood. In this new and important study, Diane Blakemore argues that attempts to analyse these expressions within standard semantic frameworks raise even more problems, while their analysis as expressions that link segments of discourse has led to an unproductive and confusing exercise in classification. She concludes that the exercise in classification that has dominated discourse marker research should be replaced by the investigation of the way in which linguistic expressions contribute to the inferential processes involved in utterance understanding.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521607711
ISBN-10: 052160771X
Format: Paperback
(228mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Pages: 212
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 19-Aug-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Diane Blakemore

Diane Blakemore is Professor of Linguistics at the European Studies Research Institute and School of Languages, University of Salford. She is the author of Semantic Constraints on Relevance (1987) and Understanding Utterances (1992), as well as a range of articles in relevance theoretic pragmatics in publications including Journal of Linguistics, Lingua, Pragmatics and Cognition, and Linguistics and Philosophy.

Books By Author Diane Blakemore

Relevance and Linguistic Meaning by Diane Blakemore

Relevance and Linguistic Meaning

Hardback, September 2002
Understanding Utterances by Diane Blakemore

Understanding Utterances

Paperback, April 1992