Subordination and information status

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This paper examines one type of subordinate construction in Japanese, namely, complement clauses, in particular those where two different complementizers, <i>to</i> and <i>koto</i>, are interchangeable. &#160;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. &#160;Subordinate clauses are not by any means a unitary category; they display differing degrees of subordination. &#160;My goals, therefore, are to delineate differences between the two complementizer uses, and to show that clauses with <i>to</i> and <i>koto</i> present differing degrees of subordination, and that there is a correlation between degree of subordination and information status.


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