Subordination and information status
A case of To and Koto complement clauses
This paper examines one type of subordinate construction in Japanese, namely, complement clauses, in particular those where two different complementizers, to and koto, are interchangeable. Despite the general notion that main clauses code foreground information (or express a main assertion) while subordinate clauses code background information (or less profiled information), our examination shows that some subordinate clauses do code more important foreground information. Subordinate clauses are not by any means a unitary category; they display differing degrees of subordination. My goals, therefore, are to delineate differences between the two complementizer uses, and to show that clauses with to and koto present differing degrees of subordination, and that there is a correlation between degree of subordination and information status.
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