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Complexity of complementizer choice in Japanese: Reply to Ono

Authors
Journal
Journal of Pragmatics
0378-2166
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
37
Issue
12
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2005.03.004
Keywords
  • Complexity Of Complementizer Choice
  • Diversity Of Contextual Factors
  • Conviction
  • Distance From Information
  • Information Processing
Disciplines
  • Psychology

Abstract

Abstract In this reply I attempt to show that the analysis proposed by Ono [Ono, Haruhiko, 2005. On the use of the Speaker (narrator)'s mental attitude to determine the selection of the Japanese complementizer no or koto: a reply to Suzuki Journal of Pragmatics] is inadequate in accounting for complementizer selections in Japanese and that the account presented in [Suzuki, Satoko, 2000. Japanese complementizers: interaction between basic characteristics and contextual factors. Journal of Pragmatics 32, 585–621] is sufficient. Ono's notions of subjective narration, psychological concern, and mental activity are not clearly defined. Further, his proposal, which associates the complementizer koto with the speaker/narrator's psychological concern and no with the lack thereof, does not correctly predict actual complementizer choices. Numerous examples are cited which contradict his claim. For example, no is found in contexts in which the speaker/narrator's psychological concern is clearly involved. In the latter half of the paper the findings in [Suzuki, Satoko, 2000. Japanese complementizers: interaction between basic characteristics and contextual factors. Journal of Pragmatics 32, 585–621] are summarized and defended. Complementizer selection in Japanese is a dynamic and complex process in which multiple factors may come into play. Relevant contextual factors are diverse since contexts are diverse. Even though the account proposed in [Suzuki, Satoko, 2000. Japanese complementizers: interaction between basic characteristics and contextual factors. Journal of Pragmatics 32, 585–621] is sometimes complicated, and perhaps not elegant, it more realistically reflects how a complementizer is chosen in Japanese.

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