About the project

Title:  Discourse markers in Lithuanian: a synchronic and diachronic study
This project is funded by the Research Council of Lithuania 
Principal investigator of the project: Associate prof. dr.  Jolanta Šinkūnienė
The duration of the project: 2017-2020

The focus of the project is on synchronic and diachronic corpus-based analysis of discourse markers (DMs) in Lithuanian. It includes the data from spoken and written language, from various discourse types (fiction, academic, journalistic discourse) and from different time periods (Old Lithuanian texts and Contemporary Lithuanian texts). The data is drawn from a variety of corpora: Corpus of Lithuanian Academic Discourse, the bidirectional parallel corpus of fiction texts ParaCorpA-LT-A, the sub-corpus of journalistic discourse of Corpus of the Contemporary Lithuanian Language, the concordances of Old Lithuanian texts (the 16th-17th centuries), available at the Institute of the Lithuanian Language and other Old Lithuanian texts external to the database of the Institute. The study will also use the online database of interviews Vilnius Speaking and the Spoken Corpus of Journalistic Discourse 1960–2010, compiled by the Department of Sociolinguistics, Institute of the Lithuanian Language, and the Corpus of Spoken Lithuanian.

The aim of the project is to provide a comprehensive account of structural, semantic and pragmatic properties of DMs in Old Lithuanian texts and in various discourse types in Contemporary Lithuanian. The study also aims to investigate the possible development of DMs in Lithuanian along the paths of grammaticalization, pragmaticalization, constructionalization and (inter)subjectification, which are widely discussed in many languages, but still scarcely investigated in Lithuanian.

The study explores the main quantitative and qualitative parameters of the functional semantic properties of DMs and compares their form and meaning correlation across different discourse types. In an attempt to define their specific features, DMs in Lithuanian are also compared to their counterparts in English.

Researchers interested in cooperation are invited to contact the principal investigator of the project by e-mail jolanta.sinkuniene@flf.vu.lt

Cover photo credit: Vilnius University, Scholarly Communication and Information Centre (SCIC)©.