1. The Chinese adversative "dan" is analyzed as a discourse marker, metadiscourse device, and metapragmatic marker in the evaluation reports of Taiwan's higher education sector.
2. Adversatives signal a contrast between two or more discourse segments and can be used for pragmatic acts such as commenting on what is being asserted or admitting previous information while presenting differing information.
3. By viewing "dan" as a metapragmatic marker, this study investigates why a contrast is marked, what pragmatic force it can generate, and what sociocultural setting-up makes this possible.
The article titled "Dan as a discourse marker, metadiscourse device and metapragmatic marker: Examples from the evaluation reports of Taiwan's higher education sector" provides an in-depth analysis of the Chinese adversative "dan" and its various functions in the context of evaluation reports on Taiwan's university programs. The article is well-researched and provides valuable insights into the complexity of adversatives beyond their conventional meaning of indicating contrast.
However, there are some potential biases and limitations in the article that need to be addressed. Firstly, the article focuses solely on one type of discourse (evaluation reports on English departments) and may not be representative of how "dan" is used in other contexts. This limits the generalizability of the findings.
Secondly, while the article acknowledges that there may be blurred lines between semantic contrast and denial when using adversatives, it does not fully explore this issue. This could lead to unsupported claims about the function of "dan" as a contrastive marker.
Thirdly, while the article provides a comprehensive analysis of "dan" as a discourse marker and metadiscourse device, it does not fully explore its potential limitations or risks. For example, using "dan" excessively could lead to reader fatigue or confusion.
Overall, while the article provides valuable insights into the complexity of adversatives beyond their conventional meaning, it would benefit from addressing potential biases and limitations more thoroughly.