Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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Reformulation markers (RMs) — in other words, that is, that is to say, i.e. and namely in English, and es decir, o sea, esto es and a saber in Spanish — are used to articulate different voices (Ducrot, 1984) or points of view (Anscombre, 1990; Nølke et al., 2004) in discourse. This paper offers a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the RMs found in a corpus of journalistic English and Spanish according to their different polyphonic arrangements. The theoretical framework used is a combination of insights from Relevance Theory — to explain the general role and the specific functions of RMs in the two languages —, and the Theory of Argumentation in Language — to account for their polyphonic meaning. The results show that instances of a high degree of polyphony are generally associated with particular discourse processes introduced by RMs, related to more interpretive uses such as definition, conclusion and consequence. However, significant differences emerge in the comparison of the specific RMs in English and in Spanish. Although the markers are often regarded as synonyms within each language or directly translatable from one language to another, their polyphonic potential may be considered a differentiating element between some of them.


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