discourse relations in context

Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft / Anglistik
Carolin Hofmockel
Doctoral Research Assistant
Angewandte Sprachwissenschaft / Anglistik

discourse relations in context: negotiating degrees of explicitness

anita fetzer, carolin hofmockel and robert m. maier


The goal of this project is to filter out linguistic and contextual features on which the linguistic realisation and interpretation of discourse relations is based – or put differently, which features make language users opt for the assignment of one particular discourse relation rather than another. A more empirically oriented aspect of this goal is to examine the linguistic coding and signalling of discourse relations in English discourse within an overall theory of discourse, comparing their linguistic realisation in different discourse genres and different production formats. The results will provide empirical confirmation for constraints on discourse structure and thus refine discourse grammar – the project’s more theoretically oriented goal –, thereby re-evaluating taken-for-granted premises, in particular (1) granularity and discourse unit, spanning from micro to macro units, and (2) “discursive glue”, that is linguistic and contextual material which contributes to the construal of discourse coherence. Discourse relations are one important type of discursive glue; others are linguistic context, social context and presupposition.


  • Fetzer, Anita. 2018. The Linguistic Realisation of Contrastive Discourse Relations in Context: Contextualisation and discourse common ground. Modeling and Using Context 2(1).
  • Fetzer, Anita. 2017. Contextualising contrastive discourse relations: Evidence from single-authored and co-constructed texts. In Patrick Brézillon, Roy Turner & Carlo Penco (eds.). Modeling and Using Context. 10th International and Interdisciplinary Conference, CONTEXT 2017, Paris, France, June 20–23, 2017, Proceedings. Springer: Cham, 527-540.
  • Fetzer, Anita. 2017. Contrastive Discourse Relations in Context: Evidence from Monadic and Dyadic Editing Tasks. In Giora, Rachel & Haugh, Michael (eds.). Doing Intercultural Pragmatics: Cognitive, Linguistic and Sociopragmatic Perspectives on Language Use. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 269-291.
  • Hofmockel, Carolin, Fetzer, Anita & Maier, Robert M. 2017. Discourse relations: Genre-specific degrees of overtness in argumentative and narrative discourse. Argument & Computation 8(2): 131-151.
  • Maier, Robert M., Hofmockel, Carolin & Fetzer, Anita. 2016. The Negotiation of Discourse Relations in Context: Co-Constructing Degrees of Overtness. Intercultural Pragmatics 13(1): 71-105.