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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