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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.

Iria Bello is a research assistant at Heidelberg University, where she also teaches English and Spanish language and culture at the Institute of Translation and Interpreting. Her research interests include historical sociolinguistics and cognitive and corpus linguistics.

Carolina Bernales is Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the Pontifi cia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso-Chile. Her research focuses on lexical processing and reading comprehension in a second language and she has also has published on classroom interaction and foreign language learning.

Maria Vittoria Calvi is Professor of Spanish Linguistics and Translation at the University of Milan and Editor-in-Chief of the journal Cuadernos AISPI. Estudios de lenguas y literaturas hispánicas. Her research interests include comparative Spanish and Italian linguistics, discourse analysis, Spanish and Italian in migration contexts, genre analysis and cross-cultural variation in professional and specialized discourse, with a particular focus on the language of tourism.

Elena Landone is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University Degli Studi in Milan. Her main research fields are discourse markers, pragmatics and foreign language teaching and she is the author of Los marcadores del discurso y la cortesía verbal en español (2009).