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Durham e-Theses
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The pragmatics of nominalization in Japanese: the n(o) da construction and participant roles in talk

Nishizumi, Kanako (2008) The pragmatics of nominalization in Japanese: the n(o) da construction and participant roles in talk. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis analyses the n(o) da construction and its use in Japanese talk. An empirical (rather than a rationalistic) approach to pragmatics is employed alongside a qualitative methodology in order to demonstrate how a speaker's uses of the n(o) da construction are related to intention and how they influence the trajectory of talk. This study proposes that the nominalizer no in the n(o) da construction is a propositionality-indicating particle used to convey the force 'here is a proposition’, effectively reifying propositional content. When a copula {da, darou, etc.) follows the nominalizer, it expresses the speaker's attitude or belief-state with regard to the reified status of the proposition. Two contrasting talk-types were collected for investigation: everyday talk-in-interaction in Japanese and group discussion involving both Japanese and English speaking participants. Based on the everyday talk data, the researcher first demonstrates how the pragmatic properties and sequential functions of the n(o) da construction contribute to talk-in-interaction. In the analysis of the Japanese group discussion data that follows, she examines the relationship between participant role and uses of the construction. In order to clarify the characteristic methods of Japanese talk organization, she discusses the different ways in which Japanese and English participants accomplish decision-making tasks and the extent to which the different structural affordances of the two languages enable them to assume comparable participant roles. Finally, the researcher considers the implication of this study for cross-cultural communication and for the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language. [brace not closed]

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2008
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:57

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