An analysis of three Japanese tags
ne, yone, and daroo
This paper presents an analysis of three Japanese words — ne, yone, and daroo. These three expressions are often interpreted as tag questions in English. Although these words are semantically closely related, they are not always interchangeable. The subtle differences between them are difficult to grasp, especially for language learners. Numerous studies have been undertaken in order to clarify the meanings of ne, yone, and daroo. However, opinions vary among different scholars, and definitions for these markers are not fully established. This paper applies the Natural Semantic Metalanguage (NSM) approach. It proposes new explications in terms of semantic primes. The proposed semantic formulae clarify the differences between the three expressions and serve as practical tools: Tools which indicate criteria that can assist in choosing an appropriate word for a given situation.
Keywords: yone, daroo, semantic primes, tag questions, Natural Semantic Metalanguage
Published online: 20 October 2011
Cited by 3 other publications
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