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See detail‘Ignore that ‘cause it’s totally irrelevant’: Marking lesser relevance in lectures.
Deroey, Katrien UL; Taverniers, Miriam

in Journal of Pragmatics (2012), 44(14), 2085-2099

This paper explores the lexicogrammatical marking of less relevant or less important points in lecture discourse. The attested markers of lesser relevance derive from a close reading of 40 lectures from ... [more ▼]

This paper explores the lexicogrammatical marking of less relevant or less important points in lecture discourse. The attested markers of lesser relevance derive from a close reading of 40 lectures from the British Academic Spoken English (BASE) corpus and their use is documented with evidence from the whole BASE corpus of 160 lectures. Five basic types of markers were found, viz. markers of message status (e.g. irrelevant), topic treatment (e.g. briefly), lecturer knowledge (e.g. not remember), assessment (e.g. not learn), and attention and note-taking (e.g. ignore, not write down). Most markers denote partial relevance rather than irrelevance and require interpretation using contextual information. Some markers also have interpersonal functions. Our findings provide valuable input for English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses aimed at improving lecture delivery, note-taking and comprehension, for subject lecturer training and for educational research. Since the study also addresses a gap in the literature on relevance marking, the results should also interest analysts of academic discourse specifically and spoken discourse generally. [less ▲]

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