Topic continuity in japanese-english interlanguage

Miyuki Sasaki*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined how a new topic was introduced, maintained, and changed in the Japanese-English interlanguage data of a 45 minute interview between a native and a non-native speaker of English. Retrospective accounts recorded after the interview were used to complement the interlanguage data. In order to achieve a more comprehensive perspective of the interlanguage, the function and distribution of certain topic marking devices in the present data were compared with those of equivalent devices in both native Japanese and English data. Results indicate that, although the topic marking system of the interlanguage shared some features with the first and second languages, it maintained features independent of these languages. Furthermore, the interlanguage data confirmed to two language universal hypotheses of Givón's (1984) topic continuity hierarchy and Du Bois' (1987) preferred argument structure. Possible causes for some unique features observed in the interlanguage were also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalIRAL - International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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