Volume 17, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


Much work on pragmatic markers in the history of English has been devoted to expressions used clause-initially at “left periphery”. By contrast, this study provides an account in broad outlines of the incremental development of pragmatic markers in clause-final “right periphery” position. Particular attention is paid to the rise of comment clauses, question tags, general extenders, and retrospective contrastive markers. Traditional characterizations of pragmatic markers, such as occurrence primarily at left periphery and with prosodic breaks are critiqued.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. BNC British National CorpusVersion 3 (BNC XML Edition) 2007 Distributed byOxford University Computing Services on behalf of the BNC Consortium. www.natcorp.ox.ac.uk/
    [Google Scholar]
  2. COHA The Corpus of Historical American English 2010– Compiled by Mark Davies . Brigham Young University. corpus.byu.edu/coha/
    [Google Scholar]
  3. DOEC Dictionary of Old English Corpus 2011 Original release 1981 compiled by Angus Cameron , Ashley Crandell Amos , Sharon Butler and Antonette diPaolo Healey . Release 2009 compiled by Antonette diPaolo Healey , Joan Holland , Ian McDougall and David McDougall , with Xin Xiang . University of Toronto. www.helsinki.fi/varieng/CoRD/corpora/DOEC/index.html
    [Google Scholar]
  4. HC Helsinki Corpus of English Texts 1991 Compiled by Matti Rissanen (Project leader), Merja Kytö (Project secretary); Leena Kahlas-Tarkka , Matti Kilpiö (Old English); Saara Nevanlinna , Irma Taavitsainen (Middle English); Terttu Nevalainen , Helena Raumolin-Brunberg (Early Modern English). Department of English, University of Helsinki. www.helsinki.fi/varieng/CoRD/corpora/HelsinkiCorpus/index/html
    [Google Scholar]
  5. ICE-GB International Corpus of English–Great Britainice-corpora.net/ice/
    [Google Scholar]
  6. MED The Middle English Dictionary 1956–2001 Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. www.hti.umich.edu/dict/med/
    [Google Scholar]
  7. OBP The Old Bailey Proceedings Online, 1674–1913 2012  Tim Hitchcock , Robert Shoemaker , Clive Emsley , Sharon Howard and Jamie McLaughlin , et al , version 7.0. www.oldbaileyonline.org
    [Google Scholar]
  8. OED Oxford English Dictionarywww.oed.com/
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Shakespeare
    1974  G. Blakemore Evans et al (eds), The Riverside Shakespeare. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Shakespeare Corpus
    Compiled by Mike Scott . www.lexically.net
  11. YP The York Plays 1982  Richard Beadle (ed.). London: Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Aimer, Karin
    1986 “Why is Actually so Popular in Spoken English?” In Gunnel Tottie and Ingegerd Bäcklund (eds), English in Speech and Writing: A Symposium, 119–27. Stockholm: Almqvist and Wiksell.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Aijmer, Karin
    2002English Discourse Particles: Evidence from a Corpus. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/scl.10
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.10 [Google Scholar]
  14. Andersen, Gisle
    2001Pragmatic Markers and Sociolinguistic Variation: A Relevance-theoretic Approach to the Language of Adolescents. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.84
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.84 [Google Scholar]
  15. Beeching, Kate and Ulrich Detges
    2014a “Introduction”. In Kate Beeching and Ulrich Detges (eds), Discourse Functions at the Left and Right Periphery: Crosslinguistic Investigations of Language Use and Language Change, 1–23. Leiden: Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. (eds) 2014bDiscourse Functions at the Left and Right Periphery: Crosslinguistic Investigations of Language Use and Language Change. Leiden: Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Biber, Douglas , Stig Johansson , Geoffrey Leech , Susan Conrad and Edward Finegan
    1999Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Blake, Norman F
    2002A Grammar of Shakespeare’s Language. New York: Palgrave.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Brems, Lieselotte , Lobke Ghesquière and Freek Van de Velde
    (eds) 2012Intersections of Intersubjectivity, special issue ofEnglish Text Construction5 (1).
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Brinton, Laurel J
    1996Pragmatic Markers in English: Grammaticalization and Discourse Functions. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110907582
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110907582 [Google Scholar]
  21. 2001 “Historical Discourse Analysis”. In Deborah Schiffrin , Deborah Tannen and Heidi E. Hamilton (eds), The Handbook of Discourse Analysis, 138–50. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 2008The Comment Clause in English: Syntactic Origins and Pragmatic Development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511551789
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511551789 [Google Scholar]
  23. Bromhead, Helen
    2009The Reign of Truth and Faith: Epistemic Expressions in 16th and 17th Century English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. doi: 10.1515/9783110216028
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110216028 [Google Scholar]
  24. Carroll, Ruth
    2008 “Historical English Phraseology and the Extender Tag”. Journal of the Spanish Society for Medieval English Language and Literature (SELIM)15 (1): 7–38.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Croft, William
    2000Explaining Language Change. Harlow, Essex: Longman, Pearson Education.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Culpeper, Jonathan and Merja Kytö
    2000 “Data in Historical Pragmatics: Spoken Interaction (Re)cast as Writing”. Journal of Historical Pragmatics1 (2): 175–99. doi: 10.1075/jhp.1.2.03cul
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jhp.1.2.03cul [Google Scholar]
  27. Defour, Tine
    2008 “The Speaker’s Voice: A Diachronic Study on the Use of well and now as Pragmatic Markers”. English Text Construction1 (1): 62–82. doi: 10.1075/etc.1.1.06def
    https://doi.org/10.1075/etc.1.1.06def [Google Scholar]
  28. Dehé, Nicole and Bettina Braun
    2013 “The Prosody of Question Tags”. English Language and Linguistics17 (1): 129–57. doi: 10.1017/S1360674312000342
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674312000342 [Google Scholar]
  29. Dehé, Nicole and Anne Wichmann
    2010a “The Multifunctionality of Epistemic Parentheticals in Discourse: Prosodic Cues to the Semantic–Pragmatic Boundary”. Functions of Language17 (1): 1–28. doi: 10.1075/fol.17.1.01deh
    https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.17.1.01deh [Google Scholar]
  30. 2010b “Sentence-Initial I think (that) and I believe (that): Prosodic Evidence for Use as Main Clause, Comment Clause and Discourse Marker”. Studies in Language34 (1): 36–71. doi: 10.1075/sl.34.1.02deh
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.34.1.02deh [Google Scholar]
  31. De Smet, Hendrik
    2012 “The Course of Actualization”. Language88 (3): 601–33. doi: 10.1353/lan.2012.0056
    https://doi.org/10.1353/lan.2012.0056 [Google Scholar]
  32. Detges, Ulrich and Richard Waltereit
    2009 “Diachronic Pathways and Pragmatic Strategies: Different Types of Pragmatic Particles from a Diachronic Point of View”. In Maj-Britt Mosegaard Hansen and Jacqueline Visconti (eds), Current Trends in Diachronic Semantics and Pragmatics, 43–61. Bingley, UK: Emerald. doi: 10.1163/9789004253216_004
    https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004253216_004 [Google Scholar]
  33. 2014 “ Moi je ne sais pas vs. Je ne sais pas moi. French Disjoint Pronouns in the Left and Right Periphery”. In Kate Beeching and Ulrich Detges (eds), Discourse Functions at the Left and Right Periphery: Crosslinguistic Investigations of Language Use and Language Change, 24–46. Leiden: Brill.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Diewald, Gabriele
    2002 “A Model for Relevant Types of Contexts in Grammaticalization”. In Ilse Wischer and Gabriele Diewald (eds), New Reflections on Grammaticalization, 103–20. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.49.09die
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.49.09die [Google Scholar]
  35. Dines, Elizabeth R
    1980 “Variation in Discourse – and Stuff Like That”. Language in Society9 (1): 13–31. doi: 10.1017/S0047404500007764
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500007764 [Google Scholar]
  36. Estélles, María Arguedos and Salvador Pons Bordería
    2011“Absolute Initial Position”. MS. University of Valencia.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Fischer, Kerstin
    (ed.) 2006Approaches to Discourse Particles. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Fraser, Bruce
    1990 “An Approach to Discourse Markers”. Journal of Pragmatics14 (3): 383–95. doi: 10.1016/0378‑2166(90)90096‑V
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(90)90096-V [Google Scholar]
  39. 1996 “Pragmatic Markers”. Pragmatics6 (1): 167–90. doi: 10.1075/prag.6.2.03fra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.6.2.03fra [Google Scholar]
  40. 2006 “Towards a Theory of Discourse Markers”. In Kerstin Fischer (ed.), Approaches to Discourse Particles, 189–204. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Haegeman, Lilian and Virginia Hill
    2010 “The Syntacticization of Discourse”. Available online at: www.gist.ugent.be/file/164 (accessed27 March 2013).
  42. Hansen, Maj-Britt Mosegaard
    1998The Function of Discourse Particles: A Study with Special Reference to Spoken Standard French. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.53
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.53 [Google Scholar]
  43. Haselow, Alexander
    2011 “Discourse Marker and Modal Particle: The Functions of Utterance-Final then in Spoken English”. Journal of Pragmatics43 (14): 3603–23. doi: 10.1016/j.pragma.2011.09.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2011.09.002 [Google Scholar]
  44. 2012a “Discourse Organization and the Rise of Final then in the History of English”. In Irén Hegedüs and Alexandra Fodor (eds), English Historical Linguistics 2010. Selected Papers from the Sixteenth International Conference on English Historical Linguistics (ICEHL 16), Pécs, 23–27 August 2010 , 153–75. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/cilt.325.07has
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.325.07has [Google Scholar]
  45. 2012b “Subjectivity, Intersubjectivity and the Negotiation of Common Ground in Spoken Discourse: Final Particles in English”. Language and Communication32 (3): 182–204. doi: 10.1016/j.langcom.2012.04.008
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2012.04.008 [Google Scholar]
  46. Hoffmann, Sebastian
    2006 “Tag Questions in Early and Late Modern English: Historical Description and Theoretical Implications”. Anglistik17 (1): 35–55.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Ifantidou, Elly
    1994 Evidentials and Relevance. PhD thesis. University College London.
  48. Jucker, Andreas H
    (ed.) 1995Historical Pragmatics: Pragmatic Developments in the History of English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.35
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.35 [Google Scholar]
  49. Kaltenböck, Gunther
    2005 “Charting the Boundaries of Syntax: A Taxonomy of Spoken Parenthetical Clauses”. View[z]: Vienna Working Papers14: 21–53. Available online at: anglistik.univie.ac.at/fileadmin/user_upload/dep_anglist/weitere_Uploads/Views/Views0501ALL.pdf (accessed17 March 2013).
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Kaltenböck, Gunther , Bernd Heine and Tania Kuteva
    2011 “On Thetical Grammar”. Studies in Language35 (4): 852–97. doi: 10.1075/sl.35.4.03kal
    https://doi.org/10.1075/sl.35.4.03kal [Google Scholar]
  51. Lass, Roger
    2000 “Language Periodization and the Concept ‘Middle’”. In Irma Taavitsainen , Terttu Nevalainen , Päivi Pahta and Matti Rissanen (eds), Placing Middle English in Context, 7–42. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Lenker, Ursula
    2010Argument and Rhetoric: Adverbial Connectors in the History of English. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton. doi: 10.1515/9783110216066
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110216066 [Google Scholar]
  53. Lewis, Diana M
    2006 “Discourse Markers in English: A Discourse-Pragmatic View”. In Kerstin Fischer (ed.), Approaches to Discourse Particles, 61–76. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Lutzky, Ursula
    2012Discourse Markers in Early Modern English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.227
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.227 [Google Scholar]
  55. Mulder, Jean and Sandra A. Thompson
    2008 “The Grammaticalization of but as a Final Particle in Conversation”. In Laury Ritva (ed.), Crosslinguistic Studies of Clause Combining: The Multifunctionality of Conjunction, 179–204. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.80.09mul
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.80.09mul [Google Scholar]
  56. Mulder, Jean , Sandra A. Thompson and Cara Penry Williams
    2009 “Final but in Australian English”. In Pam Peters , Peter Collins and Adam Smith (eds), Comparative Studies in Australian and New Zealand English, 339–59. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/veaw.g39.19mul
    https://doi.org/10.1075/veaw.g39.19mul [Google Scholar]
  57. Overstreet, Maryann
    1999Whales, Candlelight, and Stuff Like That: General Extenders in English Discourse. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Pichler, Heike and Stephen Levey
    2010 “Variability in the Co-occurrence of Discourse Features”. University of Reading Language Studies Working Papers2: 17–27.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. 2011 “In Search of Grammaticalization in Synchronic Dialect Data: General Extenders in Northeast England”. English Language and Linguistics15: 441–71. doi: 10.1017/S1360674311000128
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674311000128 [Google Scholar]
  60. Redeker, Gisela
    2006 “Discourse Markers as Attentional Cues at Discourse Transitions”. In Kerstin Fischer (ed.), Approaches to Discourse Particles, 339–58. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Schiffrin, Deborah
    1987Discourse Markers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511611841
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611841 [Google Scholar]
  62. Schourup, Lawrence
    1982 “Common Discourse Particles in English Conversation”. Working Papers in Linguistics28. Ohio State University.
    [Google Scholar]
  63. Spevak, Marvin
    1973The Harvard Concordance to Shakespeare. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. Stenström, Anna-Brita , Gisle Andersen and Ingrid Kristine Hasund
    2002Trends in Teenage Talk: Corpus Compilation, Analysis, and Findings. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/scl.8
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.8 [Google Scholar]
  65. Swan, Toril
    1988Sentence Adverbials in English: A Synchronic and Diachronic Investigation. Oslo: Novus.
    [Google Scholar]
  66. Taavitsainen, Irma
    1995 “Interjections in Early Modern English: From Imitation of Spoken to Conventions of Written Language”. In Andreas H. Jucker (ed.), Historical Pragmatics: Pragmatic Developments in the History of English, 439–65. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.35.23taa
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.35.23taa [Google Scholar]
  67. 1997 “Exclamations in Late Middle English”. In Jacek Fisiak (ed.), Studies in Middle English Linguistics, 373–607. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Thompson, Sandra A. and Anthony J. Mulac
    1991 “A Quantitative Perspective on the Grammaticalization of Epistemic Parentheticals in English”. In Elizabeth Closs Traugott and Bernd Heine (eds), Approaches to Grammaticalization, Vol. 2: 313–29. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.19.2.16tho
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.19.2.16tho [Google Scholar]
  69. Tottie, Gunnel and Sebastian Hoffmann
    2009 “Tag Questions in English – The First Century”. Journal of English Linguistics37 (2): 130–61. doi: 10.1177/0075424209332962
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0075424209332962 [Google Scholar]
  70. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs
    2012 “Intersubjectification and Clause Periphery”. In Lieselotte Brems , Lobke Ghesquière and Freek Van de Velde (eds), Intersections of Intersubjectivity, special issue of English Text Construction, 5 (1): 57–28.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. 2015 “Investigating ‘Periphery’ from a Functionalist Perspective”. In Alexander Bergs , Abigail C. Cohn and Jeff Good (eds), Linguistic Vanguard1, 119–30. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Traugott, Elizabeth Closs and Graeme Trousdale
    2010 “Gradience, Gradualness and Grammaticalization: How Do They Intersect?” In Elizabeth Closs Traugott and Graeme Trousdale (eds), Gradience, Gradualness, and Grammaticalization, 19–44. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/tsl.90.04tra
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tsl.90.04tra [Google Scholar]
  73. Walkden, George
    2013 “The Status of hwæt in Old English”. English Language and Linguistics17: 465–88. doi: 10.1017/S1360674313000129
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1360674313000129 [Google Scholar]
  74. Weinreich, Uriel , William Labov and Marvin Herzog
    1968 “Empirical Foundations for a Theory of Language Change”. In W.P. Lehmann and Yakov Malkiel (eds), Directions for Historical Linguistics, 95–189. Austin: University of Texas Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Wierzbicka, Anna
    2006English: Meaning and Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174748.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195174748.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error