Japanese Negotiation Through Emerging Final Particles in Everyday Talk

Ono, Tsuyoshi; Thompson, SandraA.; Sasaki, Yumi
May 2012
Discourse Processes;May2012, Vol. 49 Issue 3/4, p243
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the grammar of Japanese kara ‘because/so’ and kedo ‘but’, traditionally understood as conjunctive particles whose function is to mark a “subordinate” clause and connect it to a following “main” clause. This article shows that, in conversation, these forms are often used turn-finally without an apparent main clause and that they are grammaticizing into final particles functioning to yield a turn. Then lexicalized uses of kara ‘because/so’ exploited for turn continuation purposes are considered, showing that different uses of kara ‘because/so’ reflect various stages of its ongoing change. It is argued that the lexicalized independent conjunction dakara is developing from a “consequential” conjunctive particle connecting two clauses to an independent “non-consequential” form. This article shows that this non-consequential form is used for giving explanations for an assertion in an immediately preceding turn and for (re)claiming a turn. Findings shed light on the grammar of turn continuation and highlight the diachronically and synchronically emergent nature of Japanese interactants' grammar.


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