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Title: Speaking of pragmatics : addressing discourse in Finnish and Japanese syntax
Author: Hollingsworth, Anna Victoria
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 3798
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Matters of discourse are often dismissed into the fringes of linguistics. However, a growing body of recent research on various discourse-related elements has revived the idea attributed to Ross (1970) of representing the notions of speaker and addressee syntactically. The goal of this dissertation is to shed further comparative light on the syntactization of pragmatics - especially speakers and addressees- and to contribute to the understanding of what kind of cross-linguistic points of variation can be found here. The comparison focuses on Finnish and Japanese, chosen as they are genetically and geographically unrelated, yet typologically similar in manifesting a great degree of discourse-sensitivity. I argue that to wholly understand a variety of discourse-related phenomena - discourse particles, the expression of contrast, and different instances of nullness - the standard structures postulated for Finnish and Japanese syntax have to be reconsidered, and build up to encode additional speech act-related layers in accordance with Wiltschko and Heim's (2016) Universal Spine Hypothesis. Chapter 3 discusses the Finnish second-position clitics -hAn and -pA as well as an array of Japanese sentence-final particles, showing that their pragmatic contribution is best understood through notions relating to discourse participants, and that this implies the presence of a speech act -related layer above the CP. Chapter 4 contrasts the behaviour of the particles with contrastive elements in the two languages, showing that there is a strong empirical case to be made for a divide between the CP and the higher layer. Chapter 5 zooms in on the inner structure of the higher layer, and argues based on evidence from interrogatives that the speech act layer is further divided into Grounding and Response layers. Finally, I turn to the importance of internal contrasts and scales in syntax: gradience and contrasts built on hierarchies are shown to play a crucial role in properly understanding the behaviour of null subjects and possessive suffixes in Finnish and case marker drop in Japanese. What emerges is a re-thought syntactic frame for Finnish and Japanese as well as new comparative evidence on the importance of speakers and addressees.
Supervisor: Biberauer, Theresa Sponsor: St John's College Benefactors' Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Finnish ; Japanese ; discourse syntax ; speaker ; addressee