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Quotative Particles to and tte in Formal Japanese Conversations

  • Author / Creator
    Harada, Keisuke
  • The Japanese language involves several quotative particles (similar to that in He said that … in English). Among these particles, two particles to and tte the most frequent ones. Previous studies have described that formality of conversation distinguishes these two particles (to is used in formal conversations, and tte in informal). However, it is observed that both particles are frequently used in informal conversations by Japanese native speakers (Nilep, 2017). The present study explores Japanese formal conversations. It observes that both particles are also frequently used in the same formal context, which suggests that formality might not be the single factor to determine the choice of to and tte in Japanese conversations. Furthermore, these particles appear to form more or less fixed combinations with specific verbs: to is used with omou (‘think’), and tte with iu (‘say’), and their uses might be lexically determined. A small number of other combinations of verbs and quotative particles (tte omou and to iu) may be accounted for by considering the speaker’s uncertainty toward the quoted contents, which is shown by final particles used in the quotes.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2022
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-03qf-9k69
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Library with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.