Influence of information structure on word order change and topic marker WA in Japanese

Satoshi Imamura, Yohei Sato, Masatoshi Koizumi

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study is to investigate the influence of given-new ordering on word order change and topic marker WA, using a self-paced reading task. The results demonstrated that OACCSNOMV is sensitive to given-new information, but SNOMOACCV, STOPOACCV, and OTOPSNOMV are not. This fact can be explained by the Markedness Principle for Discourse Rule Violation (Kuno, 1987: 212): both SNOMOACCV and STOPOACCV are not penalized even when they violate given-new ordering because they are unmarked options, OACCSNOMV is penalized when it violates given-new ordering because it is a marked option, and OTOPSNOMV is penalized even when given-new ordering is preserved because it requires more contrastive contexts (McGloin, 1990:113). Another point is that topic marker WA is not responsive to the given-new distinction. This suggests that the usage of WA does not rely on anaphoricity in general. Note that there are two usages of WA: thematic topic needs to be previously mentioned while contrastive topic does not require anaphoricity. Taken together, we can conclude that the essence of WA is not thematic topic but contrastive topic.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 28th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2014
    EditorsPrachya Boonkwan, Wirote Aroonmanakun, Thepchai Supnithi
    PublisherFaculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chulalongkorn University
    Pages432-441
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9786165518871
    Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan 1
    Event28th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2014 - Phuket, Thailand
    Duration: 2014 Dec 122014 Dec 14

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the 28th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2014

    Other

    Other28th Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, PACLIC 2014
    Country/TerritoryThailand
    CityPhuket
    Period14/12/1214/12/14

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Computer Science (miscellaneous)

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