The Japanese sentence-final particles, ne, yo and yone
have proved notoriously difficult to explain and are especially challenging
for second language users. This book investigates the role of the particles
in talk-in-interaction with the aim of providing a comprehensive
understanding that accounts for their pragmatic properties and sequential
functions and that provides a sound basis for second language pedagogy.
This study starts by setting up an original particle function hypothesis
based on the figure/ground gestalt, and then tests its validity
empirically with unmarked, marked and native/non-native talk-in-interaction
data. The analysis illustrates not only expectable but also unexpected or
strategic use of particles, as well as the problems posed for native
speakers by non-native speakers whose use of particles is idiosyncratic.
The study demonstrates that the proposed hypothesis is capable of
accounting for all the uses of particles in the extensive and varied data
set examined. This book will be of interest to students and scholars in
pragmatics and CA and to teachers of Japanese as a foreign language.