Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This article deals with so-called sentence-final coordinating conjunctions in some dialectal varieties of English and Japanese. It emphasises that such final coordinating conjunctions derive from two syntactically different processes (“truncation” and “backshift”), and demonstrates that the final conjunctions stemming from each process differ accordingly in syntactic, prosodic, and discourse-pragmatic terms. In both English and Japanese, the backshift type of sentence-final coordinating conjunctions (i) can be fronted to sentence/clause-initial position with no semantic/logical contradiction, (ii) have a sentence-final contour, (iii) do not tolerate being followed by a filler or interjectory particle, and (iv) express emphatic or emotive meanings. On the other hand, the truncation type of sentence-final coordinating conjunctions show the opposite characteristics. The cross-linguistic commonality observed in each of the two types of sentence-final coordinating conjunctions strongly suggests that their discourse-pragmatic meanings are cross-linguistically associated with syntactic/grammatical repertoires, such as truncation, backshift, and sentence-final position.


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