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When (not) to claim epistemic independence: The use of ne and yone in Japanese conversation

Issue: Vol 2 No. 2 (2017) Special issue: Conversation analytic studies of language use in interaction

Journal: East Asian Pragmatics

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DOI: 10.1558/eap.34740


The goal of this article is to demonstrate that the Japanese final particles ne and yone are systematically used to adopt different epistemic stances and thereby achieve different interactional consequences. Using conversation analysis, the article analyses the particles used in two specific sequential environments: (1) responses to informing and (2) first and second assessments. It is demonstrated that yone is used to claim that the speaker has arrived at the view independently prior to the ongoing conversation (epistemic independence) as well as knows or has experienced the referent first-hand (independent access) while ne is used to claim independent access but not epistemic independence. This analysis allows us to identify interactional contexts in which it is appropriate for participants to claim epistemic independence with the use of the particle yone and when it is not.

Author: Kaoru Hayano

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