On establishing I think as a final particle in interactions: Some comparisons with sentence-final particles in Japanese

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Abstract

This paper explores the function of I think in utterance-final position and attempts to establish its status as a final particle (FP). The pragmatic functions of I think are compared to those of sentence-final particles (SFPs) in Japanese, and the final particle-ness of I think is examined in terms of its placement in the so-called ‘right periphery.’ The findings suggest that the basic function of I think is to present an appraisal indicating interpersonal concern and attentiveness to the interactional context. In essence, I think presents the utterance as part of a set of reciprocal actions and implicitly solicits a responsive action by the recipient. Despite differences in intensity, these intrinsic functions of I think are comparable to those suggested for the Japanese SFPs yo and ne. The study concludes that final I think has specific functions as a FP distinct from those of its initial counterpart, indicating different types and/or levels of (inter)subjectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-98
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume110
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Mar 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Final particle
  • I think
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Periphery
  • Subjectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence

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