Yone as a Discourse-Pragmatic Marker in Blog Messages

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Japanese sentence-final particles are typically used in face-to-face oral interactions. However, they are also used frequently in written communication via digital media such as blogs. This article explores the pragmatic functions of yone, a combination of the sentence-final particles yo and ne, addressing how the particle serves in constructing social interactions and discourse structures of blog messages. Data taken from popular Japanese blog websites suggest that yone serves to instruct the reader to identify epistemic common ground and to establish affective levels of understanding among the participants. It is argued that the use of yone pertains to the writer’s epistemic stance (status of knowledge about or access to the information) and evaluative stance (status in terms of agreement or disagreement).