|Title||Japanese negative suffix nai in conversation: Its formulaicity and intersubjectivity|
|Tag(s)||construction, Japanese, discourse analysis, formulaicity, grammar-pragmatics interface, interaction, intersubjectivity, involvement, negation, negative suffix, phonological reduction, repetition, structural fixedness|
|Publisher||SAGE Publications Ltd|
The study investigates how speakers use ‘ nai-expressions' (a verb root + the negative suffix (a)nai as in shabere-nai ‘cannot speak' and ik-anai ‘will/do not go') in naturally occurring conversation. The data demonstrate that although negative utterances have been considered to be ‘grammatical' constructions that simply negate the truth value of a proposition, nai-expressions show formulaic tendencies and serve not only to express a speaker's emotional personal stance on a particular story/event but also to create interpersonal space with other conversation participant(s) and to involve them in the story/event. The patterns which emerged from the data are quite similar to those in Ono and Thompson's study on Japanese adjectives. As they pointed out, some of nai-expressions in the data may also be re-analyzed as adjectives.