Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.644
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.878

CiteScore 2017: 0.79

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.418
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 1.386

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 51, Issue 6


On discourse markers: Grammaticalization, pragmaticalization, or something else?

Bernd Heine
  • Corresponding author
  • Institut für Afrikanistik, Universität zu Köln, Meister-Ekkehart-Str. 7, 50923 Köln, Deutschland
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-11-12 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2013-0048


Discourse markers have been the subject of a considerable body of recent research. Most commonly, their genesis and development was described in terms of grammaticalization. But there were also alternative approaches to deal with their development, and the term pragmaticalization was proposed to account for features of discourse markers that pose a problem to grammaticalization theory.

In the present paper it is argued that neither grammaticalization nor pragmaticalization are entirely satisfactory in the understanding of the nature of discourse markers. On the basis of recent work on Discourse Grammar (Kaltenböck et al. 2011; Heine et al. 2012) it is argued that the rise of discourse markers involves an operation called cooptation, whereby information units such as clauses, phrases, or words are transferred from the domain of sentence grammar to that of discourse organization.

Keywords: cooptation; discourse marker; grammaticalization; pragmaticalization; thetical

About the article

Published Online: 2013-11-12

Published in Print: 2013-11-15

Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 51, Issue 6, Pages 1205–1247, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling-2013-0048.

Export Citation

©[2013] by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Sylvie Hancil, Danh Thành Do-Hurinville, and Huy Linh Dao
Cognitive Linguistic Studies, 2018, Volume 5, Number 1, Page 1
Danh Thành Do-Hurinville and Huy Linh Dao
Cognitive Linguistic Studies, 2018, Volume 5, Number 1, Page 8
Samuel Zakowski
Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 2018, Volume 19, Number 1, Page 55
Sylvie Hancil
Anglophonia, 2016, Number 22
Kaja Dobrovoljc
International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 2017, Volume 22, Number 4, Page 551
Seongha Rhee and Hyun Jung Koo
Journal of Pragmatics, 2017, Volume 120, Page 101
Bernd Heine, Gunther Kaltenböck, Tania Kuteva, and Haiping Long
Linguistics, 2017, Volume 55, Number 4
Zeltia Blanco-Suárez and Mario Serrano-Losada
Journal of Historical Linguistics, 2017, Volume 7, Number 1-2
Michiko Kaneyasu and Shoichi Iwasaki
Discourse Studies, 2017, Page 146144561770659
Elwys De Stefani
Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie, 2016, Volume 132, Number 1
Liesbeth Degand and Jacqueline Evers-Vermeul
Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 2015, Volume 16, Number 1, Page 59

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in