The sentence-final particles ne and yo in soliloquial Japanese

Yoko Hasegawa

Abstract

This paper investigates the Japanese sentence-final particles ne and yo as they occur in soliloquy. Because of their pivotal roles in spoken Japanese, these particles have been investigated extensively for decades. However, most previous works have analyzed them solely in terms of communication, invariably assuming the presence of an addressee. In fact, it is not yet widely known that these particles can also occur in soliloquy in which communication with another person is not intended. The present article is the first study to address the significance of ne and yo as they occur in soliloquy and discuss problems associated with hitherto proposed analyses. In order to investigate how communicative and non-communicative intentions influence utterances, an experiment was conducted in which soliloquies of native speakers of Japanese were examined. For ne, this study endorses Takubo and Kinsui’s Discourse Management Model. For yo, Inoue’s account is vindicated.

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