S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics SNU Working Papers in English Language and Linguistics Vol.16 (2018)
By the way as a Multifunctional Discourse Marker
- Kim, Yejin
- Issue Date
- SNU Working Papers in English Linguistics and Language, Vol.16, pp. 57-82
- This study explored the diverse pragmatic aspects of the discourse maker by the way using three spoken corpora which were the MICASE corpus, Corpus of Contemporary American English, and British National Corpus (BYU-BNC). Despite by the ways most widely perceived usage as a digression marker signaling sudden topic change, there have been some noteworthy instances in which it was found to serve other discourse functions as well. Based on that observation, this paper first set out to identify other generally overlooked discourse functions that by the way serves. The study then proceeded to take a closer look into how those various functions were differentially realized in each spoken corpus representative of distinct spoken registers. The results rendered suggested that by the way does not have one single, static function and instead, its predominant function changes depending on the various discourse settings in which it occurs. From this variable nature of by the way, it was concluded that further discourse considerations would have to be incorporated if we are to arrive at a more enriched charaterization of by the way.