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The Effect of No-da on Politeness in Japanese


  • Annie Ingelsson

Summary, in English

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the effect the no-da construction has on the politeness of two sentence types: requests and quotations followed by opinion. The purpose is, more specifically, to examine whether claims regarding the effect no-da has on these sentence types, made by Kuno (1973) and McGloin (1980), can be supported or not. The claim regarding requestive sentences, made by both Kuno and McGloin, is that no-da, in combination with the conjunction kara ‘because’, has a negative effect on the politeness. The claim regarding quotations followed by opinion, made by McGloin, is that no-da makes this type of sentence impolite if the subject of the quotation is in the second person, while it has no negative effect on the politeness if the subject is in the third person. No-da’s effect on these sentence types is examined through a questionnaire aimed at native speakers of Japanese, in which the participants are asked to rate 32 sentences in terms of naturalness and politeness. It was found that participants perceived requests uttered with kara and no-da to be less polite than those uttered with only kara. The data from the questionnaire also showed that the participants perceived quotations followed by opinions with the subject of the quotation in the second person to be less polite with the use of no-da, while those with the subject in the third person showed no such tendencies.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • no-da
  • politeness
  • Japanese language


  • Shinichiro Ishihara (Reader)