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Corpus-based studies on language varieties

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Edited By Francisco Alonso Almeida, Laura Cruz García and Víctor González-Ruiz

This volume brings together a number of corpus-based studies dealing with language varieties. These contributions focus on contemporary lines of research interests, and include language teaching and learning, translation, domain-specific grammatical and textual phenomena, linguistic variation and gender, among others. Corpora used in these studies range from highly specialized texts, including earlier scientific texts, to regional varieties. Under the umbrella of corpus linguistics, scholars also apply other distinct methodological approaches to their data in order to offer new insights into old and new topics in linguistics and applied linguistics. Another important contribution of this book lies in the obvious didactic implications of the results obtained in the individual chapters for domain-based language teaching.

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Revisiting "actually" – actually in different positions in some national varieties of English (Karin Aijmer)

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Karin Aijmer Revisiting actually in different positions in some national varieties of English 1. Introduction Pragmatic markers have both formal and functional properties distinguishing them from other lexical elements in language. They do not belong to the propositional core of the utterance but need to be described in terms of their pragmatic and discourse functions in the discourse. Accord- ing to Biber et al., pragmatic markers are ‘inserts’ in the utterance “unable to enter into syntactic relations with other structures” (Biber et al. 1999: 1002). They can signal boundaries or transitions in discourse and they are closely associated with attitudes and with social relationships. However we should not exaggerate the uniqueness of pragmatic markers. Just like other words in language they can be described in grammar with regard to position and the type of utterance or clause where they occur. This gives rise to the question about the relationship between formal features such as the position of pragmatic markers and their functions. Studying prag- matic markers from the point of view of what they are doing in different positions provides a new angle on their study which complements other research. Recently we have witnessed an increased interest in what is hap- pening in the ‘periphery’ which goes hand in hand with a “reengagement of interactional research with grammatical consideration” (Clift 2001: 245). In other words, the analysis of pragmatic markers must consider the constraints imposed by the temporal contingency of interaction. Actually is semantically and positionally flexible. It therefore seems...

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