Article published in:Contexts of Subordination: Cognitive, typological and discourse perspectives
Edited by Laura Visapää, Jyrki Kalliokoski and Helena Sorva
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 249] 2014
► pp. 223–244
Utterances ending in the conjunction että
Complete or to be continued?
This article presents an analysis of Finnish utterances that end in the conjunction että during conversational talk. Traditionally known as a complementizer, että is the equivalent to the English subordinating conjunction that. Thus, a linguistic unit that ends in että could be interpreted as being incomplete or as projecting a complement clause to follow. However, this study argues that some että-final utterances can be analyzed as being complete. Several arguments will be offered to support this claim. For example, syntactically, these utterances contain neither complement-taking predicates nor other complement-taking constructions that are associated with the conjunction että. This can be assumed to indicate that että does not function as a complementizer, but rather as a syntactically more independent particle that does not project a specific type of continuation. This claim is supported by the fact that other languages have conjunctions that are also developing uses as final particles. This analysis adopts the methodology and theoretical insights of conversation analysis and interactional linguistics.
Published online: 04 September 2014
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