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When I search the term jamais vu, I got a quote:

In psychology, jamais vu (/ˈʒɑːmeɪ ˈvuː/; from French, meaning "never seen") is the phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognizes in some fashion, but that nonetheless seems very unfamiliar.

I'd like to know whether I can remove the word nonetheless? What does it do in this sentence?

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  • It shows a contrast to what has been said before; but that nonetheless is more emphatic. I'd just use ... but that seems ...
    – Schwale
    Feb 14, 2016 at 9:18
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    There are many words with a discursive function, such as nonetheless, however, just that (at least in some cases) add nothing to the literal meaning of a sentence and could be removed, but which convey something about the discourse structure, or the speaker's attitudes.
    – Colin Fine
    Feb 14, 2016 at 11:24
  • Here, you can replace “but that nonetheless” with, “but despite that” You can leave it out but it becomes a slightly different sentence than the author’s original one.
    – Jim
    Feb 15, 2016 at 4:14

1 Answer 1

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In the original quote (here with my emphasis):

In psychology, jamais vu (/ˈʒɑːmeɪ ˈvuː/; from French, meaning "never seen") is the phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognizes in some fashion, but that nonetheless seems very unfamiliar.

nonetheless explicitly sets two roughly opposite ideas against one another:

one recognizes in some fashion ... seems very unfamiliar

If you leave out nonetheless, you are lessening the speaker's explicit acknowledgement of their oppositeness.

Consider:

1. I have drunk a glass of water. I feel thirsty.

2. I have drunk a glass of water but I feel thirsty.

3. I have drunk a glass of water. Nonetheless I feel thirsty.

4. I have drunk a glass of water but nonetheless I feel thirsty.

In #1, there is no explicit connection of the two stated facts.

In #2, but explicitly connects the two stated facts.

In #3, nonetheless explicitly connects the two stated facts.

In #4, but explicitly connects the two stated facts and nonetheless reinforces the explicit connection.

nonetheless can be moved to the end of the sentence, punctuating the idea:

I have drunk a glass of water but I feel thirsty nonetheless.

Nonetheless means "not any less (here, thirsty) [for having done so]"

We can also use the word "still", which means "continue to".

I have drunk a glass of water but I still feel thirsty.

I have drunk a glass of water but I continue to feel thirsty.

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