This paper presents a comparative study of the Japanese (pseudo-)cleft no-wa construction, schematized as: [clause] no-wa [NP/AdvP/clause] (da), in four spoken/written registers: informal conversations, academic presentations, news reports, and newspaper editorials. The study finds that the no-wa cleft appears more frequently in non-objective discourse that deals with a higher level of complexity. Close examination of instantiations of the no-wa cleft uncovers various register-oriented functions that show a varied degree of family resemblance with one another. These functions can be subsumed under two general functional properties of the no-wa construction: highlighting function at the local level and (retrospective) anticipatory function at the global level. This study shows that the family resemblance model provides a realistic and inclusive (albeit complex) account of the relationship between grammatical forms, their functions, and the contexts of use.
Original Publication Citation
Kaneyasu, M. (2019). The family of Japanese no-wa cleft construction: A register-based analysis. Lingua, 217, 1-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lingua.2018.10.002
Kaneyasu, Michiko, "The Family of Japanese no-wa Cleft Construction: A Register-based Analysis" (2019). World Languages and Cultures Faculty Publications. 33.