A survey of some Bulgarian discourse markers

by Elitza Ivanova

Institution: San Diego State University
Year: 2012
Record ID: 1954557
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10211.10/2412


Discourse markers are words used in spoken language which were originally believed to be empty words, also known as fillers. In more recent years, discourse markers have been studied as particles which can function in several ways: signaling the listeners about forthcoming information or helping repair and explain previous sentences. The research conducted focuses on two sets of three Bulgarian discourse markers, using data collected from a popular Bulgarian online forum. Ami, emi, and mi were originally treated as interchangeable. The data showed that they function differently. Ami is generally used to indicate that the speaker is going to express their opinion about the subject at hand, while emi is used to signal lack of interest and enthusiasm from the speaker. The data also demonstrated that mi consistently follows the pattern of the English discourse marker well (per Lakoff and Pomerantz' definitions), which either signals a response that does not directly answer a given question or prefaces disagreeing statements. As for the group of abe, be, and de, the data showed that abe and be differed only in syntactic position while both functioning to signal irritation and annoyance from the speaker, most often in a command or question. Be and de differed in more ways than syntactic position. The data showed two usages for de. It can be used as a marker of clarification or to signal a lesser degree of aggravation than be.