PhD Research School in Linguistics and Philology

Ana Acevedo-Halvick

Discourse Markers in the Speech of Guatemalan Adolescents

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Initial project proposal:

"My project aims at analyzing oral discourse, in particular discourse markers representative of the speech of Guatemalan adolescents, within the framework of the Cola project. This will be the first investigation dealing with discourse markers in the speech of Guatemalans and particularly in the speech of young Guatemalans.

I intend to explain and model some of the fundamental aspects of discourse marking through certain discourse markers, and define some of the roles that these elements play in linguistic interaction among Guatemalan adolescents, focusing on certain linguistic phenomena which are characteristic of real use.

Because of the multifunctional characteristics of discourse markers, they are determining factors in the development and processing of conversation; they can have different functions throughout an interaction. I thus study discourse markers from both from a textual perspective as well as from an interactive perspective in order to observe and explain the different functions of these linguistic units in marking discourse. My aim is to underpin the interactive perspective, since this study will involve exploring how the specific discourse units frequently used in adolescents’ speech tend to mark limits through the meaning of the components which function as discourse markers. From an interactive perspective, discourse markers in colloquial speech are significant both in relation to what they say as well as what they fail to say, thus serving as guides for the inferential process of the hearer."

Acevedo-Halvick successfully defended her thesis on 20 December 2013.