This paper investigates the semantics and pragmatics of the discourse marker ata in Belizean Kriol. I argue that ata is a contrastive discourse marker in the sense of Fraser ("Towards a Theory of Discourse Markers", 2006a) and that it is used to convey an emphatic contrast with the immediately preceding discourse. I analyze this latter element as a Gricean (Studies in the Way of Words, 1989) conventional implicature. In addition, ata is frequently used in conveying negative attitudes toward the preceding discourse. I argue that this is not a conventional aspect of ata's meaning but that it is instead calculated in context via Gricean pragmatic reasoning.
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This work was funded by a grant from the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance on the Twin Cities campus at the University of Minnesota .
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