Discursive Marks: Characteristics, Types And Examples

The unalterable grammatical entities of the textual and oral dissertation are understood as  discursive marks . They are also known as plot connectors; their work will always be conditioned by the communicative level that is raised in the speech. Good use of speech marks can empower any speaker.

Discursive marks give character and identity to communication, they denote the particular traits that each individual has when speaking or writing. In fact, it is common for imitators, when entering their roles, the first thing they do is repeat those specific traits of the person they imitate.

Discursive marks

Some specialists have come to call discursive marks as fillers of everyday speech. These grammatical devices tend to be extremely versatile when distributing the propositions of speech. Of course, this quality will depend on the use of the language of the writer or speaker who uses the marks.

Thanks to these argumentative links, the ideas of the texts coalesce congruently, giving firmness to the microstructures, solidity and coherence to the macrostructures and, therefore, a global meaning to the textual superstructure, the great contribution of Teun van Dijk.

When used properly, discursive markers offer an infinite number of possibilities to the speaker. This is proportional to the vocabulary and knowledge about the subject you want to discuss.


They are independent grammatical structures

When using speech marks, a comma should be placed before, after, or before and after, depending on the role they are playing in the speech. This denotes her isolation from the argument; however, its impact on the strength of the text persists.

Each of the discursive marks is like an island in the sea; in fact, they cannot be linked to each other either. They do not accept that type of links, as well as denial.

They generate cohesion in the textual microstructure

This characteristic is one of the most important, since these argumentative links allow to unite the different propositions of the speech to give meaning and reinforce the general idea.

They shape text structures

By uniting the main ideas that make up the textual microstructure, they give meaning to the different macrostructures, which leads to the suprastructural conformation that allows the speaker a global understanding of the discourse.

They guide and give continuity

The proper use of these links makes it easier for speakers, interpreters, readers or announcers to be guided through the set of ideas in a fluid and orderly manner until they understand the whole message. The level of guidance and continuity will depend on the discursive abilities of the one who elaborates the text.

They add order to speech

These argumentative connectors fulfill their function at structural levels, directing the information from the simplest to the most complex.

Thanks to the distributive versatility they have with respect to the propositions, they facilitate the detailed explanation of the contents, and, therefore, their understanding.

Its use depends on the communicational plane

When speaking of a communicational plane, reference is made to the oral and written planes. Depending on the objective of the speech, it will be the use of connectives. Each plane has its discursive peculiarities.

At the same time, the target audience will determine the level of links that are made, anaphorically and endophorically speaking (understand this as the relationships between ideas, inside and outside the paragraphs).

They are the supports in oral and written expression

If it were not for these textual processors there would be no orality, it would wander among a set of scattered ideas, without meaning. Textual markers support the oral and written expression of languages, they are indispensable.

Types and examples

When approaching the discursive marks we find five well-defined types. Generalized examples by groups will be mentioned and given below:

Information structurers

They are the ones that allow the information to be displayed in an orderly manner to give meaning to the discourse. Between them we have:


– To all this.

– By the way.

– By the way.


– That’s the way it is.

– As well.

– Well.


– On the one hand / on the other.

– In first place in second place.

– Part.

– Later.


“We will start by talking about Pedro. As well, He’s gone. For one thing, it  ‘s good that he did. By the way, he owed me money ”.


They are in charge of making the discursive synapse . They intertwine a proposition with another prior or external to the paragraph; that is, they link ideas at the contextual level.

In a row

– Therefore.

– So.

– Thus.


– Rather.

– By cons.

– However.

– However.


– Even.

– Also.

– Over.


“I didn’t want it to happen; rather well, I wanted to fix everything. He didn’t want to, so  I left there. Look at how benevolent I was,  you could even say that I behaved like his friend.


They are in charge of bringing a new proposition to the discourse related to what was discussed in previous statements.


– Anyway.

– In conclusion.

– After.


– Rather.

– Even better.

– Rather.


– That is to say.

– That is.

– This is.

Of distancing


In any case.

In any case.


“There was nothing else left to do. Rather, everything was done. Finally , we picked up everything and went. Anyway , what was missing ?; that is , the house had been left in ruins. You understand me?”.

Argumentative operators

These textual processors are in charge of conditioning the arguments of a discursive proposal, without connecting it to any other.

Of concretion

– In particular.

– For example.

Argument reinforcement

– In fact.

– Actually.

– In the background.


“The colonel, in particular , can say that he didn’t burn down the house. Who would dare to blame him?In factWho would even look him in the eye?

Conversational bookmarks

These are directly associated with the conversational realm. They fulfill an informative role, of interaction focused on a listener. These are part of the so-called fillers used by a large majority of speakers in everyday dialogues.

Conversational metadiscursives

– East.

– Good.

– Eh.

Deontic modality

– Voucher.

– Good.

– All right.

Of epistemic modality

– Apparently.

– Clear.

– Of course.

Focusers of Otherness

– Look.

– Man.

– Hears.


“- This…  you go first, it corresponds to you.

Hey , let me think about it.

‘You’ve chickened out , apparently .

“No, okay , don’t say that.” Man, look , I’m the same ”.


Based on the silver, it can be said that discursive marks represent the necessary “glue” that makes the propositions of a text support each other. When this union is achieved, cohesion is manifested and global coherence is generated.

It can also be said that the depth of the discourses is subject to the understanding they have of the discursive marks and their power, both by the one who elaborates the discourse and the one who reads it. It takes a broad grammatical understanding to give the correct meaning to the arguments.

In addition to the above, it is necessary to understand that learning the correct use of discursive marks to improve communication should not be something typical of scholars or gifted people. On the contrary, we are all in the responsibility to do it, it is our duty as speakers of a language.

It’s not impossible to gain all the skills you need to make compelling speeches. It is enough to propose the conscious and schematic study of the different discursive markers, elaborate examples and put them into practice through socialized readings.

Large societies have made their progress largely supported by the communication possibilities acquired by their inhabitants. It is not what we say, but how we say it.


  1. Garachana Camarero, M. (2011). Discursive marker. Spain: DL University of Barcelona. Recovered from: ub.edu.
  2. Plazas Salamanca, AM (2015). Discursive marks of medicalization in advertisements. Spain .: Scielo. Recovered from: scielo.org.co.
  3. Bertorello, A. (2008). The limit of language. Heidegger’s philosophy as a theory of enunciation. Buenos Aires: Biblos. Recovered from: books.google.co.ve.
  4. 4. Ruíz Gurillo, L. (2010). The “discursive marks” of irony. Spain: University of Alicante. Recovered from: rua.ua.es.
  5. Ferraras, J. (2001). The Discursive Marks of the Individualistic Consciousness in the Humanistic Dialogue of the 16th Century. Paris: University of Paris X-Nanterre. Recovered from: cvc.cervantes.es.

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