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(Inter)subjectification in the quotative tte in Japanese conversation: Local change, utterance-ness and verb-ness

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This article discusses the process of (inter)subjectification in grammatical constructions including tte, which is known as the quotative complementizer in present-day Japanese. About 170 instances of tte constructions that appeared in the conversational data spanning over 200 years are analyzed, focusing on three major types of constructions: the quotative tte construction, the topic-introducing construction, and the constructions with tte as utterance-final pragmatic particles. There are morphosyntactic changes concomitant to the process of (inter)subjectification; for example, the quality of the "quoted" element preceding tte has been extended to include less utterancelike materials. In addition, the "main" verb iu 'say' that is associated with the quotative tte has lost its verbal characteristics in the topic construction and disappears in the utterance-final particle construction. Subjectification, as well as intersubjectification, is observed locally in each position: after the quoted element, after the topic noun, and at the utterance-final position.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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