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The linguistic marking of coherence relations : Interactions between connectives and segment-internal elements

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Connectives and cue phrases are the most prototypical linguistic elements that signal coherence relations, but by limiting our attention to connectives, we are likely missing out on important other cues readers and listeners use when establishing coherence relations. However, defining the role of other types of linguistic elements in the signaling of coherence relations is not straightforward, and it is also not obvious why and how non-connective elements function as signals for coherence relations. In this paper, we aim to develop a systematic way of categorizing segment-internal elements as signals of coherence relations on the basis of a literature review and evidence from parallel corpora. We propose a three-way distinction between division of labor, agreement, and general collocation to categorize the different ways in which elements inside discourse segments interact with connectives in the marking of coherence relations. In each type of interaction, segment-internal elements can function as signals for coherence relations, but the mechanism behind it is slightly different for each type.

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Keywords: coherence relations; connectives; linguistic marking; parallel corpus; signals

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2018

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