Formulaicity of fictional quotative ga itteta and its functions in Japanese social media posts

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Relatively longer formulaic sequences are often subject to syntactic, lexical, and semantic variability, and this variability presumably connects to the development of constructional schemata and to language creativity. The present paper focuses on the formulaicity, variation, and communicative effects of the quotative phrase X ga itteta 'X was saying' in Japanese social media posts, whose situation would become fictional or less factual depending on the nature of the subject X. Twitter data suggest that X ga itteta with certain subjects (e.g., high school girls, cats, moms; see below) is more conventionalized compared to the counterpart Y-Tte itteta 'was saying that Y', where Y is a quoted statement, with the same subject. Additionally, the construction accepts variation of surrounding elements to raise its fictional level. In Japanese online platforms, the schema X ga itteta and its formulaic instances possibly distance the quoter from the quoted statement and avoid arguments and criticisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-144
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Japanese Linguistics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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