Periphery – Diachronic and Cross-Linguistic Approaches
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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In present-day colloquial Japanese, , the conjectural forms of the copulas that are agglutinated to at the right periphery (RP) of the clause, are detached from the clause and are used as the stand-alone confirmation/agreement markers. This paper explores the developmental pathway from the RP / to the stand-alone discourse-pragmatic items, addressing how they serve “exchange structure” and “action structure”-related functions in Schiffrin’s (1987) model of discourse coherence. Evidence from corpus studies of these items in the early 1900s and in present-day Japanese suggest that the stand-alone uses developed from their uses at the RP through the anaphor. This paper provides further evidence for Onodera’s (2014, and elsewhere) suggestion that discourse-pragmatic items tend to be recruited from the RP items in the history of Japanese.


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