Lea Sawicki

Responsive discourse particles in Lithuanian dialog

The article deals with the discourse functions of two Lithuanian turn-opening particles, kad and na. The turn-opening particles are not exclusively conjunctions or connectives. They do not combine clauses in any traditional way, and neither coordination nor subordination is effected by them. Nevertheless, they play a specific role in marking the utterance they open as reactive and expressing the attitude of the speaker towards the content of the previous turn, thus serving as a cohesive device in dialog and enhancing its coherence

The responses opening with kad convey various shades of skepticism, reservations or uneasiness of the speaker about the content of the previous turn and offer justifications or excuses for not complying or obeying.

The particle na is found in strictly non-narrative text portions, usually in dialog, but also in inner speech passages. In most of its environments it has to do with removing obstacles to the conversation flow.

Keywords: dialog, discourse markers, particles, reactive, responsive