Edited by Tsuyoshi Ono, Ritva Laury and Ryoko Suzuki
[Studies in Language 43:2] 2019
► pp. 364–401
Questioning the clause as a crosslinguistic unit in grammar and interaction
This paper focuses on ‘clause’, a celebrated structural unit in linguistics, by comparing Finnish and Japanese, two languages which are genetically, typologically, and areally distinct from each other and from English, the language on the basis of which this structural unit has been most typically discussed. We first examine how structural units including the clause have been discussed in the literature on Finnish and Japanese. We will then examine the reality of the clause in everyday talk in these languages quantitatively and qualitatively; in our qualitative analysis, we focus in particular on what units are oriented to by conversational participants. The current study suggests that the degree of grammaticization of the clause varies cross-linguistically and questions the central theoretical status accorded to this structural unit.
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