Discourse relational devices of contrast in Lithuanian and English

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


When conjunctions are employed to link sentences, they become discourse relational devices The purpose of this study is to analyse if the semantic meaning of Lithuanian contrastive conjunctions o (but/when/whereas/ while) and bet (but) coincides with the pragmatic meaning and to draw some parallels with their English counterparts. A corpus-based approach is employed to make generalizations on the use of Lithuanian conjunctions and their English counterparts, whereas discourse analysis provides a theoretical framework to analyse the conjunctions in spoken language and distinguish their peculiarities typical of this social context. The research reveals that Lithuanian conjunction bet and its English counterpart but demonstrate similar pragmatic behavior. On pragmatic level both conjunctions bet and but serve to object indirectly, to deny interlocutor’s ideas by first agreeing to them and then contradicting. Lithuanian conjunction o does not have a direct English counterpart. Lithuanian conjunction o, mainly contrastive in its semantic meaning, has manifold pragmatic meanings, therefore, it can be translated to English not only by but and and but also by any other English utterance introducer depending on the context. The focus of the research is spoken discourse which naturally implies certain limitations as it is not so much organized and more open to the recipient’s intervention. Knowledge of semantic meaning and pragmatic functions provides easily identifiable advice on how conjunctions could be used and translated. The object of the research is comparatively new in Lithuania and adds to the research field related to discourse relations studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-100
JournalSantalka = Coactivity: Filologija. Edukologija
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015



  • Discourse relational devices
  • Conjunctions
  • Corpus-based analysis
  • Semantic function
  • Pragmatic function
  • Spoken discourse

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