Unagi-sentences in Japanese and mutual knowledge

Obana, Y. (2001) Unagi-sentences in Japanese and mutual knowledge. Journal of Pragmatics, 33 5: 725-751. doi:10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00138-1

Author Obana, Y.
Title Unagi-sentences in Japanese and mutual knowledge
Journal name Journal of Pragmatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-2166
Publication date 2001-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00138-1
Volume 33
Issue 5
Start page 725
End page 751
Total pages 27
Editor J. Mey
C. Caffi
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher North-Holland
Collection year 2001
Language eng
Subject C1
380203 Discourse and Pragmatics
751001 Languages and literature
2099 Other Language, Communication and Culture
Abstract This paper examines the so-called ’Unagi-sentence‘ in Japanese. So far, it has been taken for granted that the Unagi-sentence is incomplete syntactically and/or semantically. Because its structure apparently neither provides a fully-fledged semantic meaning, nor furnishes a plausible syntactic pattern (such as ‘subject-predicate‘), a number of previous works have considered the Unagi-sentence to be elliptic, and consequently reconstructed it as a complete sentence or established intermediate structures to account for its grammatical form. Other researchers have not used elliptic solutions, but sought to discover logical connections between the parts of the Unagi-sentence themselves. As a result, fixing their entire attention on the internal structure of the Unagi-sentence, these researchers inevitably needed to establish hypothetical constructs in order to explain the structure of the Unagi-sentence. The present author believes that the Unagi-sentence is neither incomplete nor a result of some hypothetical processes. The Unagi-sentence stands on its own as a complete utterance. It is basically an NP utterance which can be expanded to the form NP1 wa + NP2 da and its variations. The occurrence of the Unagi-sentence depends heavily on a presupposed context and its pragmatic features, without which the Unagi-sentence cannot exist. It is these features that the present article seeks to elucidate.
Keyword Knowledge (Theory)
hypothetical scenarios
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 15:18:53 EST