On the delimitation of discursive units in colloquial Spanish

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This paper outlines the theoretical framework of the Val.Es.Co Research Group, dealing with the description and delimitation of discourse units; more concretely, <i>minor</i> discourse units will be dealt with. To set the limits of discourse units, this system combines both prosodic and semantic/pragmatic features, being their combination not hierarchical but complementary. In other words, either prosodic, semantic or pragmatic features can become determining when identifying conversational units in specific contexts. Finally, two cases of colloquial Spanish are analysed in which delimiting discourse units becomes a problematic task, namely the Spanish discourse marker <i>bueno</i> (&#8216;well&#8217;) and <i>suspended utterances</i>. In the first case, prosody is not as relevant as semantics, whereas in the second one the contrary holds. In both cases, the Val.Es.Co system provides a solution to help delimit this units.


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