Collaborative use of contrastive markers Contextual and co-textual implications

Carota, F. (2007). Collaborative use of contrastive markers Contextual and co-textual implications. In A. Fetzer (Ed.), Context and Appropriateness: Micro meets macro (pp. 235-260). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
The study presented in this paper examines the context-dependence and dialogue functions of the contrastive markers of Italian ma (but), invece (instead), mentre (while) and per (nevertheless) within task-oriented dialogues. Corpus data evidence their sensitivity to a acognitive interpersonal context, conceived as a common ground. Such a cognitive state - shared by co-participants through the coordinative process of grounding - interacts with the global dialogue structure, which is cognitively shaped by ``meta-negotiating{''} and grounding the dialogue topic. Locally, the relation between the current dialogue structural units and the global dialogue topic is said to be specified by information structure, in particular intra-utterance themes. It is argued that contrastive markers re-orient the co-participants' cognitive states towards grounding ungrounded topical aspects to be meta-negotiated. They offer a collaborative context-updating strategy, tracking the status of common ground during dialogue topic management.
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