Left-Peripheral and Sentence-Internal Topics in Japanese

  • Hiroaki Nakamura
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4914)


In Japanese, information structure is mainly indicated by the use of the topic marker WA. This paper will discuss how the use of this particle carries out the so-called Topic-Comment articulation from the viewpoint of the syntax-semantics interface, especially within a version of categorial grammars. Pragmatic characterizations of the topic marker have quite often been addressed in the literature without clarifying its syntactic properties, while the syntactic analysis of topicalization has been provided just in terms of hierarchical structure and movement in Japanese theoretical linguistics. We attend to a syntactic function of the topic marker, as suggested by the term kakari-josi or concord/coherence particle, which requires an expression marked with the particle WA to show a kind of ’concord’ with the sentence-final verb. Semantically, we argue that the topic particle induces information packaging as suggested by Vallduví (1992), yielding tripartite information structures in the sense of Hajičová, Partee & Sgall (1998). We also deal with sentences with sentence-internal topics, cleft-constructions and multiple topic sentences in terms of incremental processing within the categorial proof net approach.


topic particle WA topic-comment articulation information pack- aging categorial grammar syntax-semantics interface 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Nakamura
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Liberal ArtsJapan Coast Guard AcademyKure CityJapan

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