Discussion article: Discourse markers, modal particles, and contrastive analysis, synchronic and diachronic

Elizabeth Closs Traugott


I discuss three issues common to papers in the present issue of CatJL by Aijmer, Bazzanella et al., and Waltereit and Detges. One is modal uses of discourse markers and distinctions between dis- course markers and modal particles. The second is evidence provided by the papers for diachron- ic changes that individual markers underwent; the distinction between grammaticalization and pragmaticalization is considered and challenged. Finally, I raise some issues regarding the method- ology of data-selection in contrastive studies.


modality, grammaticalization, pragmaticalization, subjectification, zero-correspon- dence in translation, writing

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Copyright (c) 2007 Elizabeth Closs Traugott