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Reframing Reformulation: A Theoretical-Experimental Approach

Evidence from the Spanish Discourse Marker "o sea"

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Shima Salameh Jiménez

Reformulation studies offer a recent debate on reformulation and its semasiological-onomasiological treatment. Some researchers argue for a clear distinction between reformulation and other functions such as conclusion or correction; others defend the existence of different subtypes of reformulation based on such other functions, which are expressed by the same group of discourse markers in different languages. Both approaches are valid although their arguments and theoretical basis are opposed. The book presents an Eye-Tracking proposal to complement this debate experimentally. Results support an onomasiological approach to reformulation since experimental boundaries for each function (paraphrase, reformulation, conclusion and correction) have been detected.

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Introduction

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Theoretical background

This volume aims to reframe reformulation from an onomasiological-semasiological approach so as to solve the so-called form-function trap, which has become a theoretical problem in this field over the last few years (Pons, 2013, 2017). The form-function trap arises when reformulation is defined by the features behind the forms expressing it, namely reformulation markers. Since reformulation markers tend to be highly polyfunctional, other functions could be assumed to be subtypes of reformulation. This leads to:

(i)A loss of reformulation limits, which are identified with other similar but not equivalent functions expressed by reformulation markers (summary, conclusion, correction, mathematical operation, expansion, etc.): These functions become subordinate to reformulation, and new functional subcategories are created (reformulative conclusion, reformulative correction, etc.).

(ii)A creation of new subtypes of reformulation markers: Given that reformulation markers can also summarize, correct, or expand formulations, and that their behavior in such cases is assumed to be different from reformulation contexts, new categories of reformulation markers can be proposed (e.g., detachment markers, correction markers as part of reformulation devices).

The form-function trap reveals a semasiological intrusion into onomasiology; this is shown in current papers in the field, which differ from the original works distinguishing the function (paraphrastic and nonparaphrastic reformulation) from the set of devices expressing it (discourse markers, etc.) (Gülich & Kotschi, 1983; Roulet, 1987). Some researchers defend this semasiological approach (Murillo, 2016); others argue for distinguishing functions and returning to the original...

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