Commentary questions in japanese: Cognitive sources and pragmatic resources

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4 Scopus citations


This paper examines the nature of questioning in Japanese by concentrating on questions taking the so-called n(o) da construction, i.e., “commentary questions” or CQs. Going beyond the cognitive and pragmatic features associated with “commentary predicates” explored in my earlier study, I argue that CQs foreground the speaker-listener interpersonal dialogicality. CQs are chosen when modal features of an utterance — including socially as well as emotionally motivated modalities — need to be brought into focus. The high frequency of CQs (approximately once in every three to four questioning opportunities) in the data examined suggests the relative importance of “interactional dialogicality” in Japanese.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-487
Number of pages41
JournalStudies in Language
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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