Cross-linguistic evidence for the early acquisition of discourse markers as register variables

Elaine S. Andersen, Maquela Brizuela, Beatrice C Dupuy, Laura Gonnerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most prior research has focused on the textual uses of discourse markers (DMs): how they (1) create coherence; (2) provide feedback about comprehension; and (3) signal production problems. A less studied function of these forms is their use as markers of the social relationships between interlocutors. This paper compares earlier findings on the acquisition of DMs as register variables in American English and Lyonnais French (Andersen 1990, 1996) with more recent data from a comparable study of Chicano Spanish-speaking children; it demonstrates striking cross-linguistic parallels in the way children learn to use these forms both to convey social meaning and to manipulate the social situation where power relationships are not pre-established. All groups use more lexical DMs and more 'stacks' (Well, now then..., Et bon alors ...,Y bueno vamos ...,) to mark higher status roles, with non-lexical variants such as uh, euh, or eh more frequent in the low status roles. In addition to parallel patterns of use, the data also reveal differences that reflect the relative importance of these forms in the different language communities, with French children using more DMs and 'stacking' than their American and Spanish-speaking peers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1339-1350
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume31
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Linguistics
linguistics
Feedback
discourse
evidence
speaking
Hispanic Americans
social situation
Language
comprehension
Research
Discourse Markers
language
community
Group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Cross-linguistic evidence for the early acquisition of discourse markers as register variables. / Andersen, Elaine S.; Brizuela, Maquela; Dupuy, Beatrice C; Gonnerman, Laura.

In: Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 31, No. 10, 10.1999, p. 1339-1350.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Andersen, ES, Brizuela, M, Dupuy, BC & Gonnerman, L 1999, 'Cross-linguistic evidence for the early acquisition of discourse markers as register variables', Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 31, no. 10, pp. 1339-1350.
Andersen, Elaine S. ; Brizuela, Maquela ; Dupuy, Beatrice C ; Gonnerman, Laura. / Cross-linguistic evidence for the early acquisition of discourse markers as register variables. In: Journal of Pragmatics. 1999 ; Vol. 31, No. 10. pp. 1339-1350.
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