Procedural Encoding Strategies of the Discourse Marker بَس (bas) in Syriac Interactional Discourse: A Relevance Theoretical Study
This study is an attempt to investigate the procedural encoding strategies of the discourse marker بَس(bas)(but), selected from one of the Syriac plays performed in the dialect of the Qaraqoush community. This discourse marker in this study, having interrelated procedural functions according to the context used, is assumed to be a discourse procedure that guides the hearer to the intended conceptualization of the discourse. The procedural functions of the selected discourse marker limit or constrain the context relevance of both speaker and hearer’s assumptions. The constraining is taken place by deriving one of the kinds of contextual or (cognitive effects); contextual implication, strengthening, and contradiction, or by reorienting the hearer to a path in the given context that leads to these effects. In this respect, the study aims to prove that procedural encoding is necessary for the conceptual encoding of the utterance context to achieve the intended meaning of the speaker. The data examples selected from the Syriac play are analyzed within the domain of Relevance Theory. The selected data are transliterated, translated, and analyzed concerning the procedural functions of the involved discourse marker. Due to the outcome of data analysis, some findings are raised. The most striking finding presented here is that the procedural role of the discourse marker بَس(bas)(but) in Syriac discourse is very significant; in that, it guides or directs the speaker to interpret the intended meaning. In the light of the findings, the study presents some suggestions to researchers who are interested in such a field of research.