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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2018

Exact Repetition in Tojol-ab’al Maya

From the book Exact Repetition in Grammar and Discourse

  • Mary Jill Brody


Tojol-ab’al Mayan is an indigenous language spoken in the state of Chiapas in Mexico. The language in use is characterized by extensive self- and other-repetition across all discourse genres. Through analysis of an extended everyday conversation that contains a number of conversational narratives, I demonstrate that repetition functions as a discourse marker of topic change. Specifically, accumulations of exact and reduced other-repetitions occur at junctures of change of topic in this conversation. It is argued that these sequences of other-repetition function as discourse markers of topic change at the global level. This involves a pragmaticalization of the process of other-repetition; such a process could also be understood as a contextualization convention, or as thetical.

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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