How Multilingual Couples Negotiate

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper examines the function and usage of the discourse marker "well" in disagreement between multilingual couples. Data was collected from 21 Taiwanese-foreign couples with various nationalities and the analysis is based on their conversations in the form of audio recordings. It is crucial to note that what we perceive and what is interpreted by the other party are intertwined with the applicable and relevant conventions. Different functions of discourse markers have to be defined in pragmatic terms to identify their meaning albeit discourse markers which may occur before, after or between clauses tend not to have a semantic role (Cuenca 2008, Hlavac 2006). Understanding an utterance requires under-standing the proposition expressed as well as understanding what kind of speech act is being performed. The author employed an integrated approach to interpret how well functions in negotiation. In the case of multilingual couples, the speakers employ the strategy of language switching, changing topic, or withdrawal to avoid arguing. The analysis of the participants’ conversation demonstrates their different attitude, preference, and cultural values in the interaction. The findings of the study also display how this marker, pause, and code-switching may function significantly in conflict.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDialogizität in der Argumentation: Eine multidisziplinäre Betrachtung
Editorsvon Daniela Pirazzini, Anika Schiemann
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherPeter Lang
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print) 978-3631625095
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2013


  • Intercultural communication
  • Multilingualism
  • Couples


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