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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.

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Introduction: Insights into Discourse Markers: Cognition and Acquisition (Iria Bello / Carolina Bernales / Maria Vittoria Calvi / Elena Landone)

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IRIA BELLO, CAROLINA BERNALES, MARIA VITTORIA CALVI AND ELENA LANDONE

Introduction Insights into Discourse Markers: Cognition and Acquisition

This volume brings together a selected group of empirical studies about the interconnections of Discourse Markers (henceforth DMs) and Second Language Acquisition (henceforth SLA). As a matter of fact, DMs’ cognitive processing and SLA reveal a research space that has continued to develop in methodological terms. As a matter of fact, whereas early studies often focused on the grammar of Discourse Markers (Weydt 1979, Martín Zorraquino 1998), current research treats them as a functional class and resorts to proposals stemming from different theories of communication and discourse, mainly from Argumentation Theory (Anscombre and Ducrot 1983; Anscombre, Rodríguez and Gómez-Jordana 2012), Relevance Theory (Sperber and Wilson 1995) or Cognitive Linguistics (Sweetser 1990; Langacker 1991, 2001). Corpus (Gast 2006; Aijmer 2013; Zufferey and Degand 2013; Gast and Rzymski 2015; Polat 2011) and experimental studies have proved that empirical methodologies are useful for the description of discourse markers (Loureda, Cruz, and DPKog 2013, 2014, 2015; Loureda et al. 2015; Zufferey, Mak, Degand, and Sanders 2015; Loureda, Nadal, and Recio 2016a, 2016b; Nadal, Cruz, Recio, and Loureda 2016; Nadal, Recio, Rudka, and Loureda 2017; Zufferey and Gygax 2017; Loureda, Recio, Nadal, and Cruz forthcoming) and different approaches have been used to describe them (Maschler and Schiffrin 2015). These include theoretical (Schiffrin 1987 [1982]; Foolen 1996; Blakemore 2004; Fischer 2006; Landone 2009), descriptive (König 1991; Dimroth...

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