University of Debrecen, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Doctoral School in Linguistics
HuComTech Research Group
My dissertation in preparation focuses on the multifunctional nature of discourse markers and one of the key issues in inferential pragmatics, the interpretation of discourse structure as well as the underlying (sequential and vertical) structure of communicative behaviour by means of the functional and sequential analysis of various discourse markers. Analyses have been performed on the Hungarian HuComTech corpus in order to annotate the textual, thematic and interactional functions of a few selected discourse markers (e.g. mondjuk [say], egyébként [by the way, anyway], amúgy [otherwise], ugye [obviously, isn't it?, right?] and examine their roles in the management of turn-taking and topic orientation in multimodal interaction. I try to explore if there is a relation between the performance of certain communicative functions, the position of the discourse marker in the utterance, their non-verbal acoustic and visual features, since all these information might be relevant for the segmentation of dialogues based on their formal features. Furthermore, a contrastive analysis is carried out to compare the non-conceptual uses, the syntactic environment and the functional spectra of a few expressions such as mondjuk and say, to identify the differences in the distribution of the above mentioned functions in the Hungarian HuComTech corpus and the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English as well as to reveal the most relevant factors giving rise to variations in usage. Recently, I have started investigating the strategic use of the selected discourse markers in other genres as well, including several kinds of mediatised political discourses.