The contrastive reading of Japanese -wa, and the role of information structure
AffiliationWestern Washington University
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AbstractIn this study, I investigate the distribution of the contrastive reading associated with the so-called Japanese topic marker –wa. The main goal is two-fold. First, I examine two previous approaches, which I call the “predicate-based approach,” and the “argument-based approach” respectively, and demonstrate that they are not sufficient to capture some empirical data. Second, based on the observation that wa-phrases in all-focus and subject-focus sentences induce the contrastive reading, I argue and demonstrate that the contrastive reading arises when wa-phrases are part of focus.
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