Academic journal article Women and Language

Punctors in Japanese: A Study of Discourse Particles across Languages

Academic journal article Women and Language

Punctors in Japanese: A Study of Discourse Particles across Languages

Article excerpt

Punctors in Japanese: A Study of Discourse Particles Across Languages. Makiko Akiyama, New York University

Recently, researchers have begun to systematically explore the functions of an expanded set of forms usually referred to as discourse markers (hereafter, DMs). They consider as punctors words that share some structural and functional characteristics such as nervous tics, fillers, sign of hesitancy, etc., that give directions to the hearer, about how interpret the discourse, related to either the structure of the discourse, or to actions of discourse. Punctors are similar to DMs but appear only in spoken language and have lost all or most of their original meaning. Vincent and Sankoff (1992) identified punctor occurrences in the four prosodic contexts of regulation, demarcation, segmentation, and discourse. They claim that speakers use punctors in much the same way even if the overall rate of use and use and backgrounds of the speakers are significantly different although they do not discuss any variation in punctor usage.

I hypothesized that systematic variation may be present in speech and compared my Japanese data with Vincent and Sankoff's Quebec French. …

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