The syntactic processing of particles in Japanese spoken language
- Particles fullfill several distinct central roles in the Japanese language. They can mark arguments as well as adjuncts, can be functional or have semantic functions. There is, however, no straightforward matching from particles to functions, as, e.g., 'ga' can mark the subject, the object or the adjunct of a sentence. Particles can cooccur. Verbal arguments that could be identified by particles can be eliminated in the Japanese sentence. And finally, in spoken language particles are often omitted. A proper treatment of particles is thus necessary to make an analysis of Japanese sentences possible. Our treatment is based on an empirical investigation of 800 dialogues. We set up a type hierarchy of particles motivated by their subcategorizational and modificational behaviour. This type hierarchy is part of the Japanese syntax in VERBMOBIL.