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5 Setting Up a Mental Space: A Function of Discourse Markers at the Left Periphery (lp) and Some Observations about lp and rp in Japanese

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Chapter Summary

As periphery research is still in its infancy as a field of study, there is some merit, in the first instance, in focusing on empirical data with a view to discerning which elements appear at the LP and RP in different languages and what such elements do on their respective peripheries. This chapter reviews and synthesizes existing literature on elements which appear at the LP and RP in Japanese and examples are provided to illustrate the functions of LP and RP elements in conversational Japanese and to throw light on their historical evolution. On the basis of such studies across different languages, it may be possible to arrive at some cross-linguistic generalizations and a contribution may be made to theory in this area. It is important to remember that in Japanese discourse, both subjective and intersubjective meanings are expressed at both the LP and RP.

Keywords: cross-linguistic generalizations; historical evolution; Japanese; Left Periphery (LP)



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