An utterance-transcending connector

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This research project is based on the hypothesis that each language has specific linguistic means of realizing interactants’ processes of speaking, listening, reacting and interacting. In this paper, I will examine the so-called quotative particle to in utterance-final position in the speech action of “reporting” in a Japanese business-meeting constellation. With the use of utterance-final <i>to</i>, the speaker gives the hearer a cue to process a prior utterance as information relevant to the chaining-final utterance, which is yet to come. It is an utterance-transcending connector operating the hearer’s information processing. Analysing the use of the particle, I will argue that the parallel observed in Japanese discourse and grammar is grounded in automated, high-speed information processing, as elaborated by Givón (2005).


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