Edited by Werner Abraham, Elisabeth Leiss and Yasuhiro Fujinawa
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 262] 2020
► pp. 351–386
This paper aims to explain the relationship between thetic statements and two groups of particles, i.e. Japanese sentence-final particles (sfps) and German modal particles (mps). Thetic statements are generally associated with predicates of temporary states, verbs of existence or verbs of appearance. By examining the properties of predicates in thetic statements, I argue that perception description is a key characteristic for theticity. I propose a common representational framework (Pragmatic Function Representation; PFR) and a distributional map (Spectrum for Persons Involved and Reference Points; SfPI&RP) to capture commonalities and differences of sfps and mps. What is common in the use of sfps and mps is that they both can contribute to form a speech act directed to addressees (report), so that the sentences thus formed are non-thetic. Most sfps contribute to convert private expressions into public ones, which is not the case in German mps.