This article aims to investigate the uses of two Italian reformulation markers (henceforth RMs) that have recently developed a range of functions that go beyond their core reformulating function. The two markers in question are nel senso (lit. ‘in the sense’) and voglio dire (lit. ‘I want to say’, i.e. ‘I mean’). Both expressions display other uses in which reformulation is not at stake (e.g. inviting the hearer to draw common-knowledge inferences connected to a given assertion, boosting criticisms in confrontational discourse, introducing a new discourse unit, resuming a given topic, modulating the illocutionary force of the preceding utterance, etc.). The study is based on two spoken corpora collected at a certain time distance from one another (early 1990s and 2006). The diachronic perspective adopted in this paper enables us to track the changes in meaning that the two RMs under scrutiny are undergoing in present-day Italian. The results of the investigation confirm that the various non-reformulating functions of nel senso and voglio dire appear to be connected in various ways to their original reformulating function, and that their reinterpretation is generally fostered by the double discourse-deictic nature of reformulation. The utterance- or turn-final functions of the two markers, for instance, arise from the backward-pointing component of reformulation: in these cases, nel senso and voglio dire forewarn the hearer that a reformulation of what has been said is to be expected, even if it is not overt, and thus the hearer can either assume that the speaker was too blunt in his/her formulation (thus leading to a hedging function), or that he/she had more to say about the topic but has decided not to do so, because this is part of common knowledge (thus leading to an insinuating function). Similarly, the utterance- or turn-initial functions of nel senso and voglio dire (introduction of a new discourse unit, resumption of an old topic) capitalize on the fact that both markers, when used as RMs, may refocus on some specific parts of the first segment, especially when the reformulation introduces a new perspective on what has been said before.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Titolo:||Reformulation markers and their functions: Two case studies from Italian|
|Rivista:||JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-85034104683|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su Rivista|