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Modality and Its Learner Variety in Japanese


Razaul Faquire

In this book modality and its learner variety in Japanese are investigated from the perspective of grammaticalization in the functional framework. It describes the grammatical system of modality in Japanese in terms of the form-function relationship within the scope of a framework based on the European school of modality. Accordingly, it deals with the modal system and its constituents in Japanese, accommodating all the grammatical means of modariti (modality) in the Nihongo bunpou (Japanese grammar system). This study also casts light on the learner variety of modality, which is comprised of two core systems, epistemic and deontic, both of which are evident at the utterance level and the morphosyntactic level. The learner variety of modality elucidated here is presented as a proto-modality, which is viewed as a system in its own right rather than as an improvised or distorted version of the native modal system in Japanese.


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Part 3 - Empirical Findings of the Study 145


PART 3 Empirical Findings of the Study Chapter 12 Organizing Learner Corpora with Modal Means in the IL of Japanese The modal means that appear during communicative discourse as a whole shows the learners’ system of modality in the IL. For the convenience of the present study, then, I incorporate all the learners’ means of modality into the learner corpora. I followed two procedural steps in organizing the learner corpora: the first was to document the learners’ means of modality, and the second was to present them comprehensively so that they illustrate the makeup of the learners’ modal system in the IL of Japanese. 12.1. Methodological Issues in the Documentation of Modalized Utterances Four issues must be taken into account as we proceed: 1) sampling of the L2 learners, 2) language skills of the L2 learners, 3) method of documentation and 4) material used in the documentation of learners’ means of modality to be organized into the learner corpora. Each is addressed below. 12.1.1. Sampling of the Subjects To address Hypotheses 1–4 regarding the learners’ system of modality in the IL, I have documented the means of modality found in the spontane- ous speech of six L2 learners learning Japanese as an L2 in Japan. Learner profiles appear in Appendix I. Selection of participants for this study was 148 Chapter 12 subject to some dif ficulties: 1) the L2 learners were not readily available for the long-term investigation, 2) the length of time for which the L2 learners had...

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