This book deals with ready-made phrases, or ‘second-level discourse markers’, of the type it is argued that, to compound the problem or the same goes for. How can such phrases be translated or recorded in dictionaries? Do they occur with equal frequency in English and French? Accessible in style and presentation, Discourse Markers across Languages provides clear answers to such queries. It is essential reading for professional linguists or lexicographers with an interest in collocation and phraseology as well as for academics, translators and language teachers seeking to produce well-crafted text in a foreign language.

The book falls into two parts. Part I presents a functional taxonomy of second-level markers in English, French and German as well as an analysis of their use in continuous text. Part II offers a contrastive interlanguage analysis of the performance of non-native writers and translators. It is found that the use of second-level markers by these groups compares unfavourably with that of natives. Unnatural writing is shown to be the result of overt errors on the one hand, and of the over- or underuse of particular items on the other. This leads to suggestions for the lexicographic treatment of second-level markers in general and pedagogic dictionaries.


Key terms: lexical phrases, multi-word items, discourse markers, contrastive linguistics, functional taxonomy, corpus linguistics