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How the Japanese "Contrastive" kedo is Structured and Used in Everyday Conversation

  • Author / Creator
    Noda, Minako
  • Japanese kedo has traditionally been described and taught using two clauses where the kedo clause forms a contrastive relationship with the following main clause (Geyer 2007a; Geyer 2007b, Hatasa et al 2010; Iwasaki 2013). However, studies have shown that kedo also appears in other grammatical configurations and serves noncontrastive functions. Nakayama and Ichihashi-Nakayama (1997) show kedo in narrative and conversation often expresses background information, ‘the parts which support, amplify or comment on the narration’ (Hopper 1979). Their data also contains kedo clauses that are not followed by the main clause. Geyer (2007a; 2007b) mostly examines L2 data and suggests that kedo is a mitigation marker used to avoid conflicts with other speakers (e.g., watashi wa soo omou kedo ‘I think so’). Building on these studies, the current study examines 41 conversations by native speakers and examines: 1) the frequency of the canonical usage of kedo (i.e., contrastive use and bi-clausal configuration) and how it is used in conversation; 2) the frequency of non-canonical usages of kedo (i.e., noncontrastive uses and other configurations) and how they are used in conversation. I have found that the contrastive kedo and bi-clausal kedo are not common at all in my data. In fact, kedo has several non-contrastive functions such as backgrounding and (discourse) mitigation and other structural configurations such as mono-clausal and clause chaining configurations. Many examples involving kedo have common characteristics (e.g., mae ni mo itta kedo ‘I told you before but’).

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2020
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-79he-h973
  • License
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