The emergence of the discourse marker sonojitsu ‘in fact’ in Japanese

Authors

  • Yuko Higashiizumi Meiji University
  • Keiko Takahashi Toyo University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/eap.20996

Keywords:

discourse markers, sonojitsu, Sino-Japanese, grammaticalisation, adversative

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Yuko Higashiizumi, Meiji University

Yuko Higashiizumi (PhD, Dokkyo University, Japan) is Lecturer at the School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences, Meiji University, and Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Human Sciences, Toyo University, Japan. Her research focuses on historical socio-pragmatics in Japanese. Her works have appeared in Japanese Journal of Language in Society 21(1) (written in Japanese, The Japanese Association of Sociolinguistic Sciences, 2018) and Bulletin of the Institute of Human Sciences (written in Japanese, Toyo University, 2021). Currently, she is working on the development of discourse/pragmatic markers in Japanese that have evolved from Sino-Japanese lexemes.

Keiko Takahashi, Toyo University

Keiko Takahashi (MA, Tokyo University, Japan) is Lecturer at the Faculty of Letters, and Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Human Sciences, Toyo University, Japan. Her research focuses on historical socio-pragmatics in Japanese. Her works have appeared in Japanese Journal of Language in Society 21(1) (written in Japanese, The Japanese Association of Sociolinguistic Sciences, 2018) and Bulletin of the Institute of Human Sciences (written in Japanese, Toyo University, 2021). Currently, she is working on the development of discourse/pragmatic markers in Japanese that have evolved from Sino-Japanese lexemes.

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Published

2021-11-10

How to Cite

Higashiizumi, Y. ., & Takahashi, K. . (2021). The emergence of the discourse marker sonojitsu ‘in fact’ in Japanese. East Asian Pragmatics, 6(3), 355–379. https://doi.org/10.1558/eap.20996