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This article addresses how native speakers (NS) of Japanese and second language (L2) Japanese learners (at intermediate and advanced levels) manage the use of noun referential forms (NRF) in order to demonstrate topic continuity and discontinuity in a silent film retelling activity. Specifically, it examines voice alternations, the use of NRF in relation to their structural markedness, and the ability to distinguish discourse contexts by the use of NRF. These issues were investigated using adoi:10.18999/stulc.25.1.127 fatcat:fptwadgy7nfqtbs5ynarq7ilbm