Besides as a connective

M. Hannay, E. Martínez Caro, J.L. Mackenzie

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review


This chapter throws new light upon besides as a connective in contemporary English. Using examples extracted from corpora, we consider how to reconcile the notions of “tangentiality” and “decisiveness” found in existing descriptions of its function. After an assessment of the only previous publication fully devoted to besides, Yeung (2009), we identify two major uses, which we label objective and (inter)subjective. The objective use is connected to finality, with besides marking the last argument in a chain, while the (inter)subjective use invokes a more (inter)personal viewpoint that trumps the preceding arguments. We also show that such uses were absent in the 19th century. This allows the conclusion that besides developed its distinctive characteristics in relatively recent times, predominantly in dialogue.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Functional Perspective on Language and Discourse: Applications and Implications
EditorsM.A. Gómez González, F. Ruiz de Mendoza Ibáñez, F. Gonzálvez García, A. Downing
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherJohn Benjamins
ISBN (Print)9789027256522
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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