Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-9316
  • E-ISSN: 1569-996X
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This paper provides a description of the distribution of buoys across genres and of their possible functions as discourse markers in French Belgian Sign Language. We selected a sample of dialogic genres – argumentative, explanatory, narrative, and metalinguistic – produced by different signers from the LSFB Corpus. In our dataset, buoys are unequally distributed across genres, and list and fragment buoys are the most frequent. Apart from a pointer and a point buoy, only some list buoys have discourse-marking functions, including enumeration, alternative, and addition. On the basis of the distribution of all types of buoys, the narrative dialogic genre is the most different as compared to the other three genres. It is characterized by a lower frequency of list buoys and a higher frequency of fragment buoys. When focusing on discourse-marking buoys, the explanatory genre attracts the highest number of tokens, which we relate to the higher degree of preparation as compared to the other genres.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): buoys; discourse markers; functions; genres
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