The emergence of the discourse marker sonojitsu ‘in fact’ in Japanese
Keywords:discourse markers, sonojitsu, Sino-Japanese, grammaticalisation, adversative
This study investigates the development of the hybrid noun phrase sonojitsu (‘that fact, its fact’) to a discourse marker (DM) ‘in fact, in reality, as a matter of fact’ in the history of Japanese. We examined the history of sonojitsu, drawing on various corpora, databases, and dictionaries. The findings are summarised as follows: (1) sonojitsu was sporadically used as a noun phrase mainly attached to an accusative marker or a topic marker until the early 18th century; (2) the zero-marked sonojitsu began to be used as a DM of adversativity from the early 18th century; (3) throughout its history, the DM sonojitsu typically occurs in sentence-medial and clause-initial position, serving an adversative relationship between two clauses; (4) throughout its history, the DM sonojitsu is often used redundantly with a preceding expression of adversativity.
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