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Chapter Summary

Traditional grammar distinguishes several classes of particles in Old Japanese: case particles kaku joshi, conjunctive. There are five focus particles in Western Old Japanese: pa, mo, so ~ Nso, namo, and Mso. Like Modern Japanese wa and Classical Japanese fa, in addition to being a topical particle used for subduing the focus from the part of the sentence that precedes it, the topic particle pa can be contrastive. There are two different topic particles in Ryukyuan: fa and ya. The former is found in Old Ryukyuan, while the later is attested in both Old Ryukyuan and modern dialects. Therefore, OR fa is probably a loan from mainland Japanese, while ya represents a genuine cognate of WOJ pa. The focus particle mo is the opposite of pa like in Modern and Classical Japanese: it is used for highlighting a preceding word or a phrase.

Keywords: case particles; Classical Japanese; focus particle; topic particle



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