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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.27 No.1 pp.179-198

Discourse Functions of actually in College English Textbooks

Jungyull Lee
Chodang University


This study analyzes the discourse marker (henceforth DM)1) actually in college English textbooks (henceforth CETs) which have been most commonly used in college general English curricula in Korea. Based upon seven discourse functions of the DM actually used by native speakers in everyday language use, I analyze whether they are well represented in the CETs. The findings showed that although six functions of this marker were adequately presented in the CETs, their frequencies were somewhat dissimilar to each other: their uses as an informative marker and a contradiction marker were observed the most frequently, whereas their use as a disagreement-prefacing marker was observed the least frequently. In addition, their use as a topic-shift marker did not appear in the CETs. In addition, the DM actually appeared differently, depending on the CETs’ level. For instance, the frequency of actually was quite low at the beginner level as compared to actually at the advanced level, which resulted in interpretations that advanced-level students may use the DM actually more than low-level students. It is expected that this study can deepen our understanding regarding discourse markers and broaden relevant research field for the future.