Ga: Japanese Conjunction
Its Functions and Sociolinguistic Implications
University of Arkansas
This book presents results of the historical, pragmatic, and variation analyses of the Japanese conjunction ga “but; however” in an attempt to identify its functions as well as to reveal their situational and sociocultural implications. The historical analysis finds that ga, which initially functioned as a nominative case marker for a nominalized clause, developed the conjunctive function as a result of its occurrences in increasingly complex sentence patterns. The pragmatic analysis identifies five functional categories of ga based on data from a popular live TV talk show.
Additionally, the first variation analysis employs data from newspaper articles, public speeches by prominent elected officials, and message boards on the World Wide Web, and reveals a number of situational and sociocultural characteristics of ga occurrences. Furthermore, the second variation analysis compares ga occurrences in press conferences with three Japanese prime ministers and finds their relevance to premiers’ attempts in varying degrees to craft a party-friendly image at home and to demonstrate their “true colors” abroad. The conclusion of this book discusses the role of the ga historical development in its common functional feature in Modern Japanese and evaluates the relationship between ga occurrence patterns and characteristics of Japanese language, people, and culture.
ISBN 9783895863219. LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 63. 178pp. 2006