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The pragmatics of selected discourse markers in Swahili

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Title: The pragmatics of selected discourse markers in Swahili
Author(s): Dunn, Andrea Susan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Green, Georgia M.
Department / Program: Linguistics
Discipline: Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Language, Linguistics
Abstract: The dissertation is a description of several discourse markers in Swahili in a pragmatic framework which assumes that speakers and hearers are rational agents whose behavior, including verbal behavior, is plan-based and goal-oriented. In this view, speech is coherent because the hearer can perceive the relation of utterances to the speaker's plan in the discourse. Discourse markers have a role in achieving coherent speech because their use guides the hearer in inferring how the speaker probably intends the utterances which they accompany to be part of her plan in the discourse. Each discourse marker has a basic sense which is invoked when the speaker accompanies her utterance with a discourse marker. The hearer, believing that the speaker is cooperative, i.e., guided by the Cooperative Principle (Grice, 1975), infers what intention he must impute to the speaker in using the discourse marker that she used, when she used it, such that he may preserve the overall assumption of the speaker's cooperativeness. Thus, the speaker's use of a discourse marker requires the hearer to relate the utterance which it accompanies to his model of the speaker's plan in the discourse, thereby realizing its coherence.Three discourse markers are discussed in detail, and several others more briefly. Chapter 2 discusses the use of sasa "now" to indicate that the speaker intends the utterance prefaced by sasa to achieve a sub-goal of a goal which she considers current in the discourse. Chapter 3 is the discussion of basi "enough", both following and prefacing utterances. Basi indicates that the speaker intends the hearer to interpret the utterance which it follows as sufficient for the accomplishment of the speaker's superordinate goal. When basi is utterance-initial the speaker intends the hearer to understand that some other action is sufficient for the accomplishment of the sub-goal which she intends the basi-prefaced utterance to achieve. The use of the DM maana "meaning", discussed in Chapter 4, indicates that the speaker intends the hearer to use the utterance which it prefaces as the basis for inferring the reason or cause for a preceding action, event or idea. Chapter 5 begins with a brief look at several other Swahili DMs (haya "o.k.", nanihii "whatchamacallit", kumbe "lo and behold"), suggesting that they are also a means for the speaker to indicate to the hearer how the utterances of which they are part are related to her goals and plans in the discourse. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of the view of DMs developed in the dissertation for issues in pragmatics, lexicography and foreign language pedagogy.
Issue Date: 1990
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/20068
Rights Information: Copyright 1990 Dunn, Andrea Susan
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9114228
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9114228
 

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