The meaning and functions of the Swedish discourse marker alltså—Evidence from translation corpora

Karin Aijmer

Abstract

The topic of this paper is to study to what extent a contrastive analysis can contribute to the analysis of discourse markers. Another issue which is explored is whether the contrastive analysis can be enriched by considering the grammaticalization and pragmaticalization of discourse markers. I have chosen to study the Swedish discourse marker alltså and its German cognate also with inferential meaning. It is shown that alltså (and German also) develops either into a question marker or a reformulation marker. By distinguishing two types of reformulation markers we can explain that the consecutive adverb develops meanings such as that is or in other words. It is also shown that there are differences between Swedish and German which can be explained by grammaticalization.

Keywords

discourse markers, translation, parallel corpus, grammaticalization, pragmaticaliza- tion, alltså, also, Swedish, German, English

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Copyright (c) 2007 Karin Aijmer