When (not) to claim epistemic independence

The use of ne and yone in Japanese conversation


  • Kaoru Hayano Japanese Women's University




the particle yone, japanese, epistemic independence, conversation analysis


The goal of this article is to demonstrate that the Japanese final particles ne and yone are systematically used to adopt different epistemic stances and thereby achieve different interactional consequences. Using conversation analysis, the article analyses the particles used in two specific sequential environments: (1) responses to informing and (2) first and second assessments. It is demonstrated that yone is used to claim that the speaker has arrived at the view independently prior to the ongoing conversation (epistemic independence) as well as knows or has experienced the referent first-hand (independent access) while ne is used to claim independent access but not epistemic independence. This analysis allows us to identify interactional contexts in which it is appropriate for participants to claim epistemic independence with the use of the particle yone and when it is not.

Author Biography

Kaoru Hayano, Japanese Women's University

Kaoru Hayano is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Japan Women's University. She holds a doctoral degree from Radboud University Nijmegen. Her research field is Conversation Analysis. She has published articles primarily on epistemics in interaction.


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How to Cite

Hayano, K. (2018). When (not) to claim epistemic independence: The use of ne and yone in Japanese conversation. East Asian Pragmatics, 2(2), 163–193. https://doi.org/10.1558/eap.34740