On rhetorical ricochet: Expressivity of nominalization and da in japanese discourse

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This article investigates the grammatical aspects of nominalization and the Japanese da predicate as critical strategies for realizing the effect of what I call 'rhetorical ricochet' in Japanese discourse. The study explores the expressive function of the nominal/nominalizer and da in 28 imaginary letters appearing in asahi Shimbun as well as a literary text (Yukiguni) along with its English translation (Snow Country). I conclude that the combination of a certain kind of nominal/nominalizer (i.e. the koto 'event' type) and the da predicate reinforces the topic-comment relationship, through which the rhetorical ricochet effect is realized. This article draws from theories on rhetoric and discourse functionalism, and the concept of shared perspectives, in particular.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-81
Number of pages25
JournalDiscourse Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


  • Da predicate
  • Expressive function
  • Japanese discourse analysis
  • Nominalization
  • Rhetoric
  • Topic-comment


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