This paper sets out to investigate the ways in which some of the Discourse Markers (DM s) in Persian are used by looking at a corpus of 475 million words. By adopting Fraser’s notion of DM (2009), it will analyse all possible combinations of thirty DMs categorized into three groups: contrastive, elaborative, and inferential. This categorization will be based on the types of semantic relationship they signal between the propositions of the discourse segments preceding and following them. Their deployment in the attested data demonstrates that the ordering of these DM s is by no means arbitrary. The result of our investigation also reveals that Persian contrastive DM s show a strong tendency to combine with the members of their own category, while elaborative DM s tend to combine with inferential DM s. Inferential DM s, too, have a tendency for intra-category combinations; however, such combinations are much less frequent than those of contrastive DM s. Contrastive DM s have the lowest predisposition for combining with inferential DM s. In short, by exploring the frequency of all sequences of DM s under investigation, a hierarchy of DM combinations in Persian will be proposed, which can be argued to predict certain possible configurations of DM sequences in Persian, and such empirical findings will build up some basis for future typological research as well as for the theorization of DM sequences in general.
Research on the effect of face-orientation on scalar implicatures has claimed that face-threatening contexts are one type of context in which scalar implicatures are not warranted. However, that research has been based on the two staples of scalar implicature research, some and or. Given research on scalar diversity has shown that these terms are rather exceptional in inducing high rates of scalar implicatures, we believe it is time for a reassessment. We explored the relationship between scalar implicatures and face concerns by means of an experiment involving eight types of scalar terms in face-boosting and face-threatening contexts. While our results showed that some and or reliably tended to induce scalar implicatures in both types of contexts, confirming the findings of scalar diversity research in this respect, we failed to replicate previous findings that face-threatening contexts do not induce scalar implicatures. We discuss reasons for these findings and how face concerns should be implemented for future experimentation in this vein.
This short paper makes a tentative attempt to capture the most salient of persuasion strategies engaged in the construction of leadership in three different yet apparently interrelated domains of public life and public policy, political communication, management/business discourse, and academic communication. It explores the cognitive underpinnings, as well as linguistic realizations, of such concepts/phenomena/mechanisms as consistency-building, source-tagging, forced conceptualizations by metaphor, and discursive neutralization of the cheater detection module in the discourse addressee. A preliminary conclusion from the analysis of these mechanisms is that the three discourses under investigation reveal striking conceptual similarities with regard to the main strategies of credibility-building and enactment of leadership. At the same time, they reveal differences at the linguistic level, i.e. regarding the types of lexical choices applied to realize a given strategy.
The goal of this paper is to help develop a general picture of conversational implicature (Grice, 1975) by looking beyond scalar implicature to see how the phenomenon behaves in a general sense. I focus on non-scalar Quantity implicatures and Manner implicatures. I review canonical examples of Manner implicature, as well as a more recent, productive one involving gradable adjective antonym pairs (Rett, 2015). Based on these data, I argue that Manner implicatures—and conversational implicatures generally—are distinguishable primarily by their calculability; their reinforceability; their discourse sensitivity (to the Question Under Discussion; Roberts, 1990; van Kuppevelt, 1995; Simons et al., 2011); and their embeddability (under negation, propositional attitude verbs, quantifiers, etc.). I use these data to draw conclusions about the usefulness of implicature-specific operators and about ways to compositionally represent conversational implicatures.
This is not an address forms research. The purpose of this paper is to study the variation of the Spanish singular and plural second-person object usted (es) (SPU object) by means of the cognitive properties of salience and informativeness. Each variant of the second-person object constitutes a meaningful possibility used by speakers to define their particular position in relation to the communicative situation where they participate, tightly connected to their communicative purposes during interaction. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of SPU object variation in a corpus of Contemporary Spanish (Corpus Interaccional del Español) show that variants are unevenly distributed across textual genres and socioprofessional affiliations of speakers and contribute to shape communicative styles based on the continuum of objectivity-subjectivity.
Existing studies focus on the effectiveness of vague language (VL). This study offers a balanced account by highlighting the ineffectiveness of VL. Drawn from institutional data involving the interactions between Australian custom officers and passengers, this study finds that while VL was effective in most cases, it was challenged in 8 % of cases. The data reveals a correlation: the more severe a situation is, the more VL is challenged. Officers performed the most VL challenging when carrying out their institutional duties, and passengers challenged VL to clarify information. Half of the responses to the VL challenge produced the required precise information. Non-compliance occurred because of either no information being available (mostly by officers, non-purposive vagueness) or withholding information (mostly by passengers, purposive vagueness). VL serves both cooperative and competitive purposes depending on the needs of the speaker. It is a double-edged sword and can both facilitate and hinder the proper use of language. The implication is that the acceptance of VL is not universal, and it requires contextual suitability to avoid communication breakdowns.