The interactional nature of suspended clause constructions in Japanese Essay

The interactional nature of suspended clause constructions in Japanese Essay

Length: 1185 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In spoken Japanese, subordinate clauses often occur without their main clauses. Ohori (1995; 1997) called them suspended clause constructions (SCCs) and formulated that a SCC occurs when “the intended message is either contextually inferable or conventionalized.” However, it is not very clear when and how the conversational participants know whether the intended message is contextually inferable (or conventionalized) or not, since a SCC and a “non-suspended version” of subordinate clause are not totally distinct category. Therefore, in order to consider the motivation for SCCs, we need to look carefully at the details of the process of producing SCCs. Based on the corpus analysis on naturally occurring conversational recordings, I propose to modify Ohori’s formulation from the Interactional Linguistic point of view.


1 Introduction
It has been widely known that, in spoken Japanese, subordinate clauses (e.g. kedo- /kara- /node- /noni- clauses) often occur without their main clauses (Martin, 1975; Hinds, 1986). While they are syntactically incomplete, they comprise a complete utterance. For example, in (1), speaker A uses a kedo (‘though,’ ‘but’) clause without its main clause.

Ohori (1995; 1997) argued that such patterns can be seen as independent grammatical constructions in the sense of Fillmore et al. (1988) and called them suspended clause constructions (SCCs). Answering to a question of “under what conditions can a clause ‘marked for subordination’ not be accompanied by a following main clause?” (pp.201-202), Ohori (1995) formulated that a SCC occurs when “the intended message is either contextually inferable or conventionalized” (p.213).

From the Construction Grammarians’ point of view, Ohori (1995:216) argued tha...


... middle of paper ...


...r when and how the conversational participants know whether the intended message is contextually inferable (or conventionalized) or not, since a SCC and a “non-suspended version” of subordinate clause are not totally distinct category. Therefore, in order to consider the motivation for SCCs, we need to look carefully at the details of the process of producing SCCs.
Based on the corpus analysis on naturally occurring conversational recordings, I found that it cannot be predetermined whether an subordinate clause is a SCC or not. Rather, SCCs are realized retrospectively as a result of interactive negotiation among conversational participants. Thus, I propose to modify Ohori’s formulation as follows: a SCC occurs when the fact that the intended message is either contextually inferable or conventionalized is interactionally observable by the participants’ behavior.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Pop Culture and Its Interaction to Nature Essay

- It is interesting to think that society today can justify or criticize its action with a piece of literature or movie. Today, humans can be blamed for the maltreatment toward nature, as well as all the issues that have resulted from it. These issues, as a result of treating nature as an object that continuously yields necessities for humans, like water, only causes us to approach nature as a symbol of necessity, rather than an entity whom provides the population of the Earth with stable nutrition and habitat for survival....   [tags: nature, interaction, maltreatment]

Good Essays
713 words (2 pages)

Essay on Use of Animals in Japanese Fables

- Japanese Fables The influence from within and everywhere else. Think back to when you were a child and to when your parents read you stories. Chances are pretty good that some of the stories you encountered were fables. For those people who do not know what a fable is, it is a story that uses animals in the place of using human beings. In researching Japanese tales, I did not have a hard time finding an abundance of fables. In relating fables to the Japanese life, I discovered that animals play an important role in Japanese culture....   [tags: Japanese Fables]

Good Essays
1468 words (4.2 pages)

Anti-rape Legislation and the Commerce Clause Essay

- The issue at stake is whether the rape of a female student by two male athletes (who have confessed to committing the crime) at the Virginia Polytechnical Institute in the year 2000 was a violation of a law passed via the Commerce Clause. A Federal law had been passed (43 U.S.C. 13981) which allowed victims of “gender motivated violence” (such as this student) to seek damages in a civil action through Federal court. The victim has since filed the civil action suit through a Federal Court using this law....   [tags: The Commerce Clause]

Good Essays
1269 words (3.6 pages)

Interactional View Theory by Paul Waltzawick Essay

- The Interactional view is based on systems theory and was developed by Paul Waltzawick. Waltzawick was a part of the Palo Alto group because he was one of twenty scholars and therapists who was inspired by, and worked with anthropologist Gregory Bateson. The Palo Alto group does not focus on why a person acts a certain way, instead the focus is on how that behavior affects everyone in the group (Griffin, 2012, p.182). “Family system is an autonomous, mutually dependent network of feedback loops guided by members’ rules; the behavior of each person affects and is affected by the behavior of another” (Griffin, 2012, p.182)....   [tags: systems theory, Paul Waltzawick]

Good Essays
1078 words (3.1 pages)

Essay on Overview of Japanese Manga

- To the Western world, Japan, its’ people and culture included, is an intimidating mystery. Yet, the intimidation that Westerners associate with the Japanese comes not from Japan’s foreignness (relative to Westerners), but rather from the image of Japan and its’ people that Westerners have grown up with. Focused solely on their work and success, the Japanese people turn their backs on their personal pleasures and emotions; the romantic and passionate does not apply to the Japanese. That is the picture that Westerners have created of Japan and her people....   [tags: japanese culture]

Good Essays
1756 words (5 pages)

Traditional Shinto & Modern Japanese Business Essay

- The nation of Japan, even more so than other countries, has a long, long history behind it. It's a country dating back as far as the B.C. Era, and that has experienced various powerful events that has shaped the country since its birth. As with other nations, an important part of their past lies in their religion. Before they were introduced to Buddhism and other outside religions, which had a large impact on their society, the Japanese followed something known as Shinto. As the one religion that can truly be called “Japanese,” it follows that its influences would still remain in the eyes of the people and only aided by a traditionally xenophobic view of the world....   [tags: Japanese History ]

Good Essays
1987 words (5.7 pages)

Essay on Human Nature in International Relations

- Human nature is that quality that sets us apart from other living things; it is the definition of what we are. The concept of human nature in international relations is embedded in the theories of international relations. Every International relations theory has its specific assumptions about human nature. The basic premise of these theories has its roots in human nature because in understanding the world and how it works, human nature is first considered. Philosophers maintain that in order for a political theory to hold any weight, it must first explain the concept of human nature....   [tags: theory, realism, constructism, human nature]

Good Essays
602 words (1.7 pages)

Japanese Earthquake Aftermath Essay

- Introduction Words simply cannot appropriately depict the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan on March 11, 2011. Japan is a developed country with the third largest economy in the world, behind the United States and China. The northeast border of Japan encountered an overwhelming natural disaster in the form of an earthquake that also created a massive tsunami and many strong aftershocks, which has affected Japan domestically and internationally. The aftershocks continually delayed recovery and have increased difficulty for search and rescue teams combing the disaster area for the deceased and wounded....   [tags: Japanese Earthquake]

Good Essays
1925 words (5.5 pages)

Japanese Military Essay

- Japan has been at a crossroads regarding its defense policies ever since the instatement of Article 9 into its constitution following World War II. Article 9 essentially states that the country may not rearm itself for any reason due to its violently imperialistic nature preceding that war. Even while it was being written, there was heavy debate among American and Japanese politicians alike as to whether or not the article may ever be revoked. Could Japan truly remain a pacifist nation. Would it always be a welfare state under the U.S....   [tags: International Government ]

Good Essays
1103 words (3.2 pages)

Japanese Art Essay

- Japanese Art Japan’s Art, although sometimes over looked has evolved through many different periods. Its simplest forms in the Archaic period and last on its more complex period the Ego Period. Even though some skeptics believe that Japanese art can not compare to the art of the Greeks or Romans. Japanese Art yet simple is refreshing and has left Japan with wonderful shrines, paintings and traditions. The periods of Japanese art are the Archaic, Ask, Heian, Kamakura, Askikaga and the Ego periods....   [tags: Japan Artistic Arts Japanese Essays]

Good Essays
805 words (2.3 pages)