Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Barbara Fox

Second Advisor

Kira Hall

Third Advisor

Chase Raymond

Fourth Advisor

Tsuyoshi Ono


This paper analyzes the use of overt first-person singular pronouns in Japanese conversation. The Japanese language allows for many forms of non-overt argument, which raises the following question: when are pronouns used to make overt arguments in Japanese? Given that overt arguments in Japanese are not often formulated with pronouns, because pronouns are considered to occur only “for cause,” this study will show an interesting additional interactional use: accounts for dispreferred responses as well as negative contents. The analyzed data in this study is taken from four dyadic conversations that were video-recorded by the author in Tokyo and Kanagawa in Japan in 2018.