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Linguistics

An Interdisciplinary Journal of the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Gast, Volker


IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 1.066

CiteScore 2018: 0.97

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.384
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 1.409

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1613-396X
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Volume 37, Issue 2

Issues

Grammar, with attitude: on the expressivity of certain da sentences in Japanese

Senko K Maynard
Published Online: 2008-02-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.37.2.215

Abstract

This paper investigates the Japanese predicate da as a device for linguistic expressivity. Based on examples taken from Japanese comics and novels, it is argued that da functions, not only as a copulative predicate but also, and more relevant to this study, as a modality indicator signaling the speaker's conclusive and assertive attitude toward his or her own verbal performance. These functions are connected, in part, to da's fundamental indexical capacity to express stativity and to communicate the speaker's general situational assessment. The indexical meaning, which is interactionally motivated as well as dialogically and contextually interpreted, offers a ready means for emotional expressivity associated with da. The paper emphasizes the importance of investigating the expressivity of a grammatical device even when such device is seemingly unrelated to the attitudinal meaning. The paper also raises a theoretical point that certain grammatical devices must be viewed, first and foremost, as being attitudinal, and their indexical meanings must be understood in the context of real-life communication. Accordingly, contrary to the commonly held view, one must consider, at least in certain cases, the modal expressive meaning as being primary and its abstract propositional meaning secondary.

About the article

*Correspondence address: East Asian Languages and Cultures, Rutgers University, Scott Hall, College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA.


Received: 1998-08-07

Published Online: 2008-02-27

Published in Print: 1999-03-01


Citation Information: Linguistics, Volume 37, Issue 2, Pages 215–250, ISSN (Online) 1613-396X, ISSN (Print) 0024-3949, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ling.37.2.215.

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[1]
Chie Fukuda
Pragmatics, 2006, Volume 16, Number 4, Page 429
[2]
Senko K. Maynard
Language Sciences, 2001, Volume 23, Number 6, Page 679
[3]
Senko K. Maynard
Journal of Pragmatics, 2000, Volume 32, Number 8, Page 1209
[5]
Carol L. Tenny
Journal of East Asian Linguistics, 2006, Volume 15, Number 3, Page 245

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