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A contrastive analysis of the pronominal usages this and that in academic written discourse

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2005
Çokal, Derya
This study presents a contrastive analysis of the pronominal uses of this and that in academic written discourse. As data, the pronominal uses of this and that are retrieved from journal articles on linguistics. From these journals, 586 articles are scanned for the pronominal uses of this and that and 198 tokens are analysed. The contrastive analysis is done in terms of the kind and span of referents this and that pick out in discourse, the types of centering transitions they signal and the rhetorical relations in which they are used. In order to investigate the types of transition they signal, the version of centering theory proposed by Grosz and Sidner (1986) and Grosz, Joshi and Weinstein (1995) is used. Also, Marcu̕s version (2000) of Rhetorical Structure Theory is used to analyze the rhetorical relations in which the expressions are used. The study also investigate the possible factors that lead an addresser to select one deictic expression instead of the other. The study concludes that this and that are cue phrases rather than discourse markers that construct local and global coherence.