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ILCAA Joint Research Project

Semantics of Discourse Particles in East and Southeast Asian Languages

Semantics and Pragmatics of Particles in East and Southeast Asian Languages

Keywords

  • linguistics
  • semantics
  • pragmatics
  • discourse particles

Areas

  • Southeast Asia
  • East Asia

Website

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About the Project

Project term: April, 2015–March, 2018

Pragmatic particles have received a good deal of attention in linguistics, which is not surprising given that they appear to be present in most or all languages of the world. Their meanings are extremely heterogeneous, leading to them also being called `modal particles’: they can indicate the information status of a sentence or part of a sentence, provide question meanings or mark politeness, or even indicate exclamation or surprise. Consequently, the best way to characterize their meanings remains controversial both from formal and informal perspectives. Within the formal semantics literature, various approaches have been proposed to the meanings of particles, but no consensus is currently available. This project aims to improve this situation by expanding the data on which formal analyses are based. Most of the current formal literature focuses on English, German, and Japanese, but East and Southeast Asian languages such as Cantonese, Colloquial Malay, Thai, and the languages of the Ryukyus exhibit a broader range of particles. This project aims to document/describe these particles and examine them from a formal semantic perspective.

Eric McCready, Project Coordinator (Associate Professor, Aoyama Gakuin University)

Members

Coordinator

  • Eric McCready (Aoyama Gakuin University)

ILCAA Staff

  • Makoto MINEGISHI

Joint Researchers

  • Christopher DAVIS
  • Christopher TANCREDI
  • David Y. OSHIMA
  • Gregoire WINTERSTEIN
  • Hiroki NOMOTO
  • Hooi Ling SOH
  • Jozina VANDER KLOK
  • Kiyoko TAKAHASHI
  • Magdalena KAUFMANN
  • Malte ZIMMERMANN
  • Masahiro YAMADA
  • Naonori NAGAYA
  • Satomi ITO
  • Stefan KAUFMANN
  • Yukinori TAKUBO
  • Yurie HARA

Outputs

Meetings

The 5th meeting Report (English)(33KB)

  • Date/Time: 3 December 2016 (Sat.) 13:30–18:00
  • Venue: Room 302, ILCAA
  • Language: English
  • Eric McCREADY (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Aoyama Gakuin University) (with Upsorn Tawilapakul)
    “Toward a Formal Analysis of Some Thai Particles”
    Satomi ITO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Ochanomizu University)
    “Chinese particle questions and their answerhood”
    Hiroki NOMOTO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) and Asako SHIOHARA (ILCAA)
    “An Analysis of the Malay/Indonesian Particle “YA””

The 4th meeting Report (English)(69KB)

  • Date/Time: 12 June 2016 (Sun.) 9:00‐18:30
  • Venue: 9:00-12:45 Room 303, 13:30-18:30 Room 302, ILCAA
  • Language: English
  • Jointly sponsored by ILCAA and The 23rd Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association (AFLA)
  • 9:00-12:45
  • Hooi Ling Soh (University of Minnesota)
    “Evidentiality, modality, focus and presupposition: The case of the discourse particle punya in Colloquial Malay”
    Scott AnderBois (Brown University)
    “A QUD-based account of the discourse particle naman in Tagalog”
    Jennifer Tan (Spanish National Research Council)
    “On the modality of Tagalog evidentials”
  • 13:30-18:30
  • Eric McREADY (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Aoyama Gakuin University)
    Opening talk
    Kiyoko TAKAHASHI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kanda University of International Studies)
    “A literature review on Thai pragmatic particles”
    Lukas RIESER (Graduate school of Letters, Kyoto University)
    “A semantic analysis of German ja and doch”
    Christopher DAVIS (ILCAA Joint Researcher, University of the Ryukyus)
    “Semantics of evidentiality in Ryukyuan”

The 3rd meeting Report (English)(127KB)

  • Date/Time: 9 January 2016 (Sat.) 13:00-18:00,10 January 2016 (Sun.) 10:30-17:00
  • Venue: Room 302, ILCAA
  • Language: English
  • This meeting will focus on the formal analyiss of particles with an eye to reviewing part of the existing literature. The first day will focus on formal analyses of the Japanese particle “yo” and the second day on particles in German.

  • 9 January
  • Eric McCready (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Aoyama Gakuin University)
    “Sentence-final Particles and Coherence”
    Christopher DAVIS (ILCAA Joint Researcher, University of the Ryukyus)
    “Contextual relations, pragmatic constraints, and discourse particles: case study of Japanese “yo””
  • 10 January
  • David Y. OSHIMA (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Nagoya University)
    “The Japanese discourse particle yo in declaratives”
    Stefan KAUFMANN (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto University)
    “Content and role of semantic contribution: Two faces of German `ja’”
    Magdalena KAUFMANN (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto University)
    “Discourse particle ‘ruhig’: discourse effects, desires, and modality”
    All members
    discussion

The 2nd meeting Report (English)(68KB)

  • Date/Time: 17 October 2015 (Sat.) 13:00-17:30, 18 October 2015 (Sun.) 11:00-17:30
  • Venue: Room 304, 303, ILCAA
  • Language: English
  • 17 October, Venue: Room 304, ILCAA
  • Stefan KAUFMANN (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto University)
    “Dynamic semantics tutorial”
    Christopher DAVIS (ILCAA Joint Researcher, University of the Ryukyus)
    “Question semantics”
  • 18 October, Venue: Room 303, ILCAA
  • Magdalena KAUFMANN (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Kyoto University)
    “Imperative semantics”
    Satomi ITO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Ochanomizu University)
    “Particles in Mandarin”
    All members
    Discussion and other talks

The 1st meeting Report (English)(64KB)

  • Date/Time: 4 July 2015 (Sat.) 10:00‐17:00
  • Venue: Room 304, ILCAA
  • Language: English
  • Eric McCREADY (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Aoyama Gakuin University)
    project overview
    Hiroki NOMOTO (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
    “Sentence final particles in Malay”
    Christopher TANCREDI (ILCAA Joint Researcher, Keio University)
    “Introduction to formal semantics and pragmatics”

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