عنوان مقاله [English]
This paper aims at introducing a group of linguistic items called ‘discourse markers’ among other things. These items constitute a functional-pragmatic category of linguistic expressions which as the name suggests fuction primarily or even exclusively on the level of discourse, rather than that of sentence,i.e. they pertain to language use, rather than to language structure, and thus cannot be studied in the absence of a context. Discourse markers are thought of as providing metalinguistic indications about the unfolding discourse.
This paper first introduces an approach to the study of discourse markers formulated by Deborah Schiffrin (1987), and then based on the line of analysis in that approach attempts at comparing and contrasting the functions of ‘but’ from English and “اما” from Persian as discourse markers. It will become known that while these two markers have certain functions in common, they differ in one important function, that is, whereas “اما” is used as a marker of topic shift and introducing a new topic in Persian discourse, ‘but’ does not have such a function in the English discourse.