On initial discourse markers in Croatian and Italian

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 4 January 2011

Original scientific paper

Magdalena Nigoević   ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-9047-8408 ; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Split, Split, Croatia 
Ana Nevešćanin

pages 51-65

04_04_Nigoevic_Nevescanin PDF


The topic of this article is to identify some Croatian linguistic elements that can function as initial discourse markers and to compare them to the equivalent elements in the Italian language. The insufficient representation of their discourse usage in Croatian and Italian dictionaries and grammar books is pointed out by the
authors. Some of the difficulties which occur when describing discourse markers are indicated: semantic and pragmatic meaning oscillation, possibilities of initial marker usages in various contexts and with different functions, as well as their salient multi-functionality. Since these discourse markers have interactional functions which indicate a relationship towards the interaction process, special attention is paid to the discourse structure rules, conversation forms and mechanisms that control the communication processes in both languages. By comparing Croatian and Italian
examples, the authors attempt to recognize the prototypical representatives of the functional category of initial discourse markers and to exemplify some similarities and differences in the usage of each language element which functions as initial discourse marker.


functional equivalents; Croatian language; initial discourse markers; Italian language