Modes of comparison and Question under Discussion: Evidence from `contrastive comparison' in Japanese

Yusuke Kubota, Ai Matsui


Based on new empirical evidence from Japanese, we first point out that the previously recognized distinction between explicit comparison and implicit comparison (Kennedy 2009; Sawada 2009) does not fully exhaust the possible types of comparison constructions. The third type of comparison construction, which we call 'contrastive comparison', calls for a finer-grained classification that cross-classifies the three types of comparison constructions in terms of both semantic and pragmatic properties. We will then show that such a refined perspective straightforwardly becomes available once we extend the previous classification with a closer attention to discourse-structural properties of the relevant constructions in terms of the notion of Question under Discussion (Roberts 1996).


comparative; implicit comparison; explicit comparison; contrastive comparison; comparison class; contrastiveness; Question under Discussion; Japanese

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