Perspectives on Topicalization

The case of Japanese wa

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Within the field of Japanese linguistics, few areas have generated as much controversy as the morpheme wa; traditionally described as a marker of old or contrasted information, its function as a discourse marker has also been studied. This work aims to deepen the understanding of wa through careful examination of the particle at both sentence and discourse levels in old Japanese as well as present-day Japanese. Previous studies have concentrated on syntactic analyses of wa. The contributors to this volume challenge the old approach and uncover new properties of wa. The four topics discussed are: wa in Narrative and Expository Discourse; wa and other Syntactic Phenomena; Historical Perspectives on wa and Pragmatic Perspectives on wa.
[Typological Studies in Language, 14]  1987.  xi, 307 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Preface
vii
Part I: Wa in narrative and expository discourse
The use of wa as a cohesion marker in Japanese oral narratives
Patricia M. Clancy and Pamela A. Downing
3
Thematization as a staging device in the Japanese narrative
Senko K. Maynard
57
Thematization, assumed familiarity, staging, and syntactic binding in Japanese
John Hinds
83
Identifiability, scope-setting, and the particle wa: A study of Japanese spoken expository discourse
Shoichi Iwasaki
107
A study of the so-called topic wa in passages from Tolstoi, Lawrenceand Faulkner (of course, in Japanese translation)
S.-Y. Kuroda
143
Part II: Wa and other syntactic phenomena
The role of wa in negation
Naomi Hanaoka McGloin
165
Wa and the WH phrase
Shigeru Miyagawa
185
Part III: Historical perspectives on wa
Functions of the theme marker wa from synchronic and diachronic perspectives
Noriko Fujii Ueno
221
Wa in diachronic perspective
Charles M. De Wolf
265
Part IV: Pragmatic perspectives on wa
How relevant is a functional notion of communicative orientation to ga and wa?
Seiichi Makino
293
Abbreveations
307
“This volume will appeal to a wide range of linguists, not simply those who study Japanese. It succeeds in raising new questions about the functions of wa, and will stimulate new research.”
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Subjects
BIC Subject: CF – Linguistics
BISAC Subject: LAN009000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  87029982