Japanese Discourse Markers

Synchronic and diachronic discourse analysis

Noriko O. Onodera | Aoyama Gakuin University
ISBN 9789027253750 (Eur) | EUR 110.00
ISBN 9781588116079 (USA) | USD 165.00
ISBN 9789027294876 | EUR 110.00 | USD 165.00
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This book is one of the pioneering historical pragmatic studies of Japanese. It closely illustrates the usage and contributions of some Japanese discourse markers, and reveals their developmental history. The section on Synchronic Analysis explores the previously uninvestigated functions of some discourse markers used in Present Day Japanese. Moment by moment in on-going conversations, where culturally rigidly-defined interactional norms are highly valued, a specific marker is chosen and used by the speakers as their strategy, based on their quite subjective judgment. The section on Diachronic Analysis then demonstrates chronologically how the meanings and forms of the same markers have come into being. Results include some noticeable changes related to the strengthened intersubjectivity. This multi-dimensional study also discusses the relevance of findings to typological characteristics and productivity. Consideration is further given to why certain expressions (rather than others) become discourse markers and independent forms in Japanese.
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series, 132] 2004.  xiv, 253 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“Onodera’s study opens up the new field of historical pragmatics, superbly combining the methodology of recently developed discourse analysis and the fruitage of the traditional historical study of Japanese. The method and results shown in this book set up important guidelines for future studies in theoretical linguistics and traditional historical linguistics, because this book demonstrates to the former which historical data should be examined in what way, and it also informs the latter that conjunctions and interjections are not marginal, but instead constitute a fertile area of study.
“Building on Schiffrin's groundbreaking study of discourse markers, Onodera significantly advances our cross-linguistic understanding of adversative connectives and interjections. Her synchronic and diachronic analyses of four Japanese discourse markers confirm the broad-scale validity of earlier claims concerning differences between conjunctions and discourse markers on the one hand, and the emergence over time of discourse-based, subjective meanings on the other. The theoretical refinements she proposes, based on typological and speech-style differences between English and Japanese, enhance the field of historical pragmatics in important ways.”
“Onodera's study of the development of Japanese discourse markers breaks new ground in the study of discourse and pragmatic markers. By combining different perspectives and methodologies to chart changes in a variety of forms, she provides a clear model that should be emulated by others interested in grammar and discourse not only from a diachronic perspective, but also from a synchronic perspective.”
“[...] this volume makes an important contribution to not only advancing our understanding of such common expressions as 'demo' and 'ne' used in daily conversations but also shedding new light on the general process of pragmaticalization by bringing in Japanese data.”
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Main BIC Subject

CF: Linguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2004059887 | Marc record