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Cognitive Insights into Discourse Markers and Second Language Acquisition

Edited By Iria Bello, Carolina Bernales, Maria Vittoria Calvi and Elena Landone

This volume employs a range of empirical methodologies – including eyetracking, direct observation, qualitative research and corpus analysis – to describe the use of discourse markers in second language acquisition. The variety of different approaches used by the contributors facilitates the observation of correlations between morphosyntactic, semantic and pragmatic features of discourse markers and enriches our understanding of the cognitive behaviour of L2 speakers, both in the understanding and production of texts. Some of the essays examine the acquisitional paths of discourse markers in instructional and natural contexts, with a particular focus on situations of language contact and social integration; others describe experimental studies that analyse the cognitive processing of discourse markers in L2 learners. All the contributions aim to offer new insights which will expand and develop existing theoretical claims about this area of study and open up avenues for further research.

CONTENTS: Iria Bello/Carolina Bernales/Maria Vittoria Calvi/Elena Landone: Introduction: Insights into Discourse Markers: Cognition and Acquisition – Eugenia Sainz: Evidentiality, intersubjectivity and ownership of the information: The evidential utterances with así que and que in Spanish – Elisa Narváez García/Lourdes Torres: Processing causality in Spanish-speaking L2 English: An experimental approach to the study of therefore – Olga Ivanova/Iria Bello Viruega: Pragmatic processing in second language: What can focus operators tell us about cognitive performance in L2? – Iria Bello Viruega/Carolina Bernales: Processing focus operators and pragmatic scales: An eyetracking study on information processing in English L2 – Christian Koch/Britta Thörle: The discourse markers , claro and vale in Spanish as a Foreign Language – An Vande Casteele/Kim Collewaert: A pilot study on the use of discourse markers in the oral discourse of language learners of Spanish – Marilisa Birello/Roberta Ferroni: The appropriation of discourse markers by students of Italian as a Foreign Language in a sequence of actionoriented learning tasks – Margarita Borreguero Zuloaga: Expressing agreement in L2 Italian: Strategies and discourse markers in Spanish learners – Patrizia Giuliano/Rosa Russo/Simona Anastasio: Discourse markers, interlanguage level and social integration: The immigrant learners in the Naples area.