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Focus Structure and Morphosyntax in Japanese
Author: Mitsuaki Shimojo
Publication date: 1995
Number of pages: 292
Format / Quality: PDF - Excellent
Size: 0.8 Mb
Truth-conditionally equivalent sentences may be different in meaning due to different ways of recognizing more informative and less informative parts of a sentence.

This study defines the informative part of a sentence as focus and less- or non-informative part as nonfocus. The focus-nonfocus contrast is in turn defined in terms of the notion activation; the focus of a sentence involves elements corresponding to the least activated
referent in the addressee's consciousness in the immediately preceding context of the utterance. Given this background, this study investigates the post-nominal particles wa and ga, so-called topic marker and subject marker respectively, and non-canonical word order, particularly the postposing construction, in Japanese.

These seemingly disparate phenomena in morphology and syntax are related to each other in that their functions are closely connected with the distribution of focus.

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