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  • Author or Editor: Karin Aijmer x

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Karin Aijmer

Abstract

The larger theoretical question addressed in this study is whether we find a parallel development from certainty to uncertainty in several languages. My contribution to this question is a case study of surely, certainly and no doubt on the basis of the English-Swedish Parallel Corpus and the Oslo Multilingual Corpus. It is shown that in English, Swedish, German, Norwegian (and French), expressions of certainty can also perform the opposite function of ’uncertainty’. The regularity of this development is explained in terms of grammaticalization. It is argued that it may be useful to distinguish a subsystem of modal particles/discourse particles in English including certainly, surely which is derived by grammaticalization. The seeds of this development may be modally harmonious combinations of modal auxiliaries and adverbs. The translations in the corpus are used as a tool to disambiguate the meanings of strong and weak certainty in the source language items.

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Karin Aijmer

Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate if I don’t know and (I) dunno are used in the same way by learners and by native speakers. The data come from the Swedish component of the recently compiled LINDSEI corpus of spoken learner texts. A comparison is made with native speaker data from the LOCNEC corpus. I don’t know (dunno) is characteristically multifunctional and needs to be described with regard to parameters like involvement (epistemic and affective stance), speech-management and politeness. I don’t know (dunno) can also be used to take or yield the turn or to mark the opening or closing of a topic. The comparison between native speakers and learners shows that learners over-whelmingly use I don’t know (dunno) as a speech management signal. Native speakers use I don’t know mainly to avoid asking questions in a direct way.

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Karin Aijmer

Abstract

Modal particles are functionally closely related to discourse markers. This raises the issue of whether modal particles have a common ‘class-identifying’ function which distinguishes them from discourse markers (and adverbs) as well as questions about what we mean by modality. Of course has been treated as a discourse marker as well as a modal adverb. However it does not seem to have been discussed as a modal particle. It is argued that we should distinguish between its uses as a discourse marker and modal particle on the basis of its formal properties and its functions.

Series:

Karin Aijmer

Abstract

The present study is concerned with comparing the intensifiers very, really and so modifying adjectives on the basis of comparable corpora representing the English spoken in Britain, the US, New Zealand and Singapore. The analysis is both quantitative and qualitative. The results of the quantitative comparison showed that there were differences both with regard to the overall frequency of the intensifiers and the distribution of the individual intensifiers in the varieties. The three intensifiers had a higher overall frequency in Singapore English. On the other hand, American English speakers used intensifiers less frequently suggesting that they use other strategies for intensification or can do without them. Singapore English stood out because of the frequency of very, while really had a higher frequency than both very and so in New Zealand English. The study also confirmed earlier research that so is on the rise in American English. The qualitative analysis was concerned with the type of adjectives the intensifiers collocated with. The intensifiers were used most frequently with evaluative adjectives indicating states, judgement of properties and appreciation. However, the intensifiers differed with regard to whether the modified adjective had positive or negative connotations. The differences between the varieties were explained with regard to political factors such as the educational system in the country, developmental stage in terms of Schneider’s (2003, 2007) developmental model and foundation history.

Advances in Corpus Linguistics

Papers from the 23rd International Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora (ICAME 23) Göteborg 22-26 May 2002

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Edited by Karin Aijmer and Bengt Altenberg

This book provides an up-to-date survey of current issues and approaches in corpus linguistics in the form of twenty-two recent research articles. The articles cover a wide range of topics illustrating the diversity of research that is characteristic of corpus linguistics today. Central themes are the relationship between theory, intuition and corpus data and the role of corpora in linguistic research. The majority of the articles are empirical studies of specific aspects of English, ranging from lexis and grammar to discourse and pragmatics. Other areas explored are language variation, language change and development, language learning, cross-linguistic comparisons of English and other languages, and the development of linguistic software tools. The contributors to the volume include some of the leading figures in the field such as M.A.K. Halliday, John Sinclair, Geoffrey Leech and Michael Hoey. The theoretical and methodological issues addressed in the volume demonstrate clearly the steady advance of an expanding discipline inspired by an empirical, usage-based approach to the study of language. The volume is essential reading for researchers and students interested in the use of computer corpora in linguistic research.

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Karin Aijmer and Bengt Altenberg

Abstract

This paper examines omission (zero translation) and related translation strategies in the English-Swedish Parallel Corpus and, in particular, how translators handle various discourse expressions (connectors, particles) that do not have a straightforward equivalent in the target language. It is demonstrated that, although connectors are sometimes omitted for other reasons than cross-linguistic non-equivalence, omission is especially common with language-specific connectors and particles which have no obvious target language counterpart, such as the Swedish explanatory connector nämligen and modal particle ju and the English transitional markers now and well. These expressions also give rise to various compensatoy translation strategies which only partly capture the meaning of the original. The paper also examines the cultural transfer effect caused by the translation of English terms of endearment (darling, love, etc) which have no natural counterparts in Swedish and therefore sound affected and ’foreign’ when rendered in Swedish.

Series:

Karin Aijmer and Bengt Altenberg

Series:

Karin Aijmer and Bengt Altenberg

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Edited by Karin Aijmer and Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen

Building on the first volume in the Studies in Pragmatics series which clearly set out the differences and similarities in approaches to discourse markers, Pragmatic Markers in Contrast continues the debate through offering a unique and thorough examination of the methods and theories for studying pragmatic markers cross-linguistically. As a result of internationalisation and new developments in linguistics there has been an increasing interest in cross-linguistic studies. Aijmer and Simon-Vandenbergen have assembled experts in this field to explore the comparison of pragmatic markers across languages in order to offer important insights into the similarities and differences between languages. Contrastive studies can also shed more light on the pragmatic and discourse functions that pragmatic markers fulfil in the languages compared. Another issue is to what extent pragmatic markers which have evolved from the same lexical source have developed similar functions in different languages. An impressively large number of different approaches are represented in this volume as well as a wide range of languages including; English, Swedish, Spanish, Dutch, German, French, Norwegian and Solv (a dialect of Finland Swedish).

Contrastive Pragmatics

A Cross-Disciplinary Journal

Edited by Karin Aijmer, Juliane House, Daniel Z. Kadar and Hong Liu

Contrastive Pragmatics – A Cross-Disciplinary Journal publishes cutting-edge contrastive research of pragmatic scope. The journal welcomes contributions that compare the use of language forms, realisation of speech acts, forms of interactional behaviour, evaluative tendencies both across and historically within lingua-cultures. It also pursues interest in the contrastive study of patterns of translation and language teaching. The journal provides a much-needed academic platform for corpus-driven and bottom-up research on language use, and for synergies between pragmatics, translation and language teaching. The journal particularly welcomes research on lesser-studied lingua-cultures. It pays special attention to pragmalinguistics and its interfaces with sociopragmatics, corpus linguistics, grammar, language acquisition and other areas. The journal is published by Brill Publishers and academically supported by Dalian University of Foreign Languages.