AdvisorLangendoen, D. Terence
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation investigates how interpretations are differentiated between and within Japanese focalizers (toritate-joshi) and also their English counterparts. There are four main proposals in this thesis. First, I propose that focalizer interactions must be analyzed independently from general focus interactions. The ordinary assumptions made for 'focus' (e.g. 'new information', binary distinction against 'topic', etc.) do not capture focalizer interactions accurately, and raise serious questions such as that of 'second occurrence' (Partee 1991). This thesis illustrates how focalizer interactions are differentiated from 'focus' interactions. Second, I suggest that the interpretation of focalizers consists of two major parts: 'declaration' and 'indication'. The two-way representation is largely inspired by Horn's (1969) 'presuppositional' analysis, but with a different distinction between interpretations. This thesis separates context-free and 100% warranted propositions ('declaration') from propositions that may or may not appear depending on the context ('indication'). Third, I assume that the interpretation of focalizers is differentiated by the strength of the indications. Adopting Leech's (1974) argument that the probability of a potential (lexical) meaning is relative to context, I further develop the assumption that the strength of the potential meaning of a given indication is relative to context. A variety of interpretations of focalizers results from this relative strength of indications. Last, it is thoroughly claimed throughout the thesis that the interactions between the target of a focalizer ('self') and its comparative items ('others') must be deeply considered to capture the three claims above. One of the important adjustments to the previously proposed analyses is that the 'scalar value' (e.g. Fauconnier 1975a, 1975b) relates to how the interpreter considers 'others', and is not fully determined by the lexical entries of a focalizer. A variety of factors are actually involved in the interpretation of focalizers. Therefore, potential discussion topics and observations of focalizer interactions are also displayed in detail, without analyzing them, for future study.
Degree ProgramGraduate College