Distinctive functions of quotative markers: Evidence from Meidai Kaiwa Corpus

Gengo bunka ronshu 35 (1):87-103 (2013)
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Abstract
The Japanese particle 'to' serves as a quotative marker, either indicating the content of speech or thought, or serving related functions. The particle 'tte' is frequently identified as an informal variant of 'to', serving identical or nearly identical functions. Scholars have suggested the two forms may have different distribution or function, but to date there has been little empirical work to distinguish the forms using broad-based corpus methods. This study of a corpus 129 informal conversations suggests that both particles are used in informal contexts. The particle 'tte' tends to occur with verbs indicating speech, or with no verb; the particle 'to' tends to occur with verbs indicating thought. Discussion also reveals some difficulties inherent in the use of morphological parsers for large-scale corpus study. Over-specifying the morphological contexts in which a form may occur risks only finding instances that support current models of grammar.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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