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‘I Assume You Know’

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The Use of ṭabʕan (‮طبعا‬‎) in Media Arabic

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This paper is a pilot study on the form and function of the Arabic discourse marker ‘ṭabʕan’. Discourse markers in language have been the focus of myriad studies under a number of denotations such as discourse operators, discourse connectives, modal markers, cue phrases, amongst several others. While such markers occur in written and spoken forms of language, they are much more abundant in formal and informal conversations. ṭabʕan, for instance, is observed in media Arabic in formal and semi-formal contexts. The paper highlights its formal features, its syntactic distribution, and identifies its core pragmatic function. Although the marker does not change the truth value of utterances or alter them in any significant way, it tends to cluster around the speaker. Thus, it injects some modal features oscillating between assertiveness and evidentiality.

Affiliations: 1: American University of Sharjah


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