Volume 27, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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This study provides evidence to support the claim that a primary function of the postpositional particle wa in Japanese conversational discourse is to mark a contrast. Wa has been widely studied in research on sentence grammar, which has suggested two separate functions of the particle, thematic and contrastive (Kuno 1973a; 1973b; Shibatani 1990). However, no study seems to have been done on conversation. In my study, analysis of 80 tokens of np-wa in conversation has revealed that wa marks a contrast. Furthermore, this study claims that it is the prior discourse that serves to establish the contrastive function of wa.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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