You are on page 1of 320

Usage-based Approaches to Japanese Grammar

Volume 156
Usage-based Approaches to Japanese Grammar
Towards the understanding of human language
Edited by Kaori Kabata and Tsuyoshi Ono
Weinei Abiaham
Univeisiiy of Vienna /
Univeisiiy of Munich
Elly van Geldeien
Aiizona Siaie Univeisiiy
Editorial Board
Beinaid Comiie
Max Planck Insiiiuie, Leipzig
and Univeisiiy of Califoinia, Sania Baibaia
William Ciof
Univeisiiy of New Mexico
sien Dahl
Univeisiiy of Siockholm
Geiiii J. Dimmendaal
Univeisiiy of Cologne
Ekkehaid Knig
Fiee Univeisiiy of Beilin
Chiisiian Lehmann
Univeisiiy of Eifuii
Maiianne Miihun
Univeisiiy of Califoinia, Sania Baibaia
Heiko Naiiog
Tohuku Univeisiiy
Johanna L. Wood
Univeisiiy of Aaihus
Debia Ziegelei
Univeisiiy of Paiis III
Studies in Language Companion Series (SLCS)
Tis series has been established as a companion series to the periodical
Studies in Language.
For an overview of all books published in this series, please see
Usage-based Approaches
to Japanese Grammar
Towards the understanding of human language
Edited by
Kaori Kabata
Tsuyoshi Ono
University of Alberta
John Benjamins Publishing Company
Amsterdam / Philadelphia
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Usage-based Approaches to Japanese Grammar : Towards the understanding of human
language / Edited by Kaori Kabata and Tsuyoshi Ono.
p. cm. (Studies in Language Companion Series, issn 0165-7763 ; v. 156)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
1. Japanese language--Usage. 2. Japanese language--Spoken Japanese. 3. Japanese
language--Writing. I. Kabata, Kaori, editor of compilation. II. Ono, Tsuyoshi,
editor of compilation.
PL642.U83 2014
495.65--dc23 2014004751
isbn 978 90 272 5921 9 (Hb ; alk. paper)
isbn 978 90 272 7031 3 (Eb)
:o:( John Benjamins B.V.
No paii of ihis book may be iepioduced in any foim, by piini, phoiopiini, miciolm, oi any
oihei means, wiihoui wiiiien peimission fiom ihe publishei.
John Benjamins Publishing Co. P.O. Box 6::( :o:o mv Amsieidam Te Neiheilands
John Benjamins Noiih Ameiica P.O. Box :,,: Philadelphia v. :::8-o,: Us.
Te paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of
the American National Standard for Information Sciences Permanence
of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ansi z39.48-1984.
Table of contents
Acknowledgement vii
List of contributors ix
Introduction: Situating usage-based (Japanese) linguistics 1
Tsuyoshi Ono and Ryoko Suzuki
part 1. Cognition and language use
Subordination and information status: A case of To and Koto
complement clauses in Japanese 13
Naomi H. McGloin
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives:
Te case for Garu and Te-iru 37
Yuki Johnson
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese:
Observations and explorations 55
Shoichi Iwasaki
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar: A functional approach 85
Rumiko Shinzato
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese:
A cross-linguistic perspective 109
Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
part 2. Frequency, interaction and language use
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it? 137
Timothy J. Vance
v: Usage-based Approaches to Japanese Grammar
Te semantic basis of grammatical development: Its implications
for modularity, innateness, and the theory of grammar 153
Yasuhiro Shirai
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles:
Corpus analysis of spatial markers, Ni and E 171
Kaori Kabata
Te re-examination of so-called clefs: A study of multiunit
turns in Japanese talk-in-interaction 193
Junko Mori
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction: A conversation
analytic exploration of grammar-in-action 223
Makoto Hayashi
part 3. Language change and variation
Context in constructions: Variation in Japanese non-subject honorifcs 261
Yoshiko Matsumoto
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants
in Japanese conversation 279
Shigeko Okamoto
Index 305
Te preparation for the volume was generously supported by the Social Sciences
and Humanities Research Council of Canada (#646-2003-1136), University of
Alberta, the Faculty of Arts, the Department of East Asian Studies, and the Spoken
Discourse Research Studio.
We would like to extend our thanks to the symposium secretary Neill Walker
and our many volunteers for their hard work, without which a successful sympo-
sium would simply not have been possible. We would also like to thank Diana
Benschop, Robin Coogan, and Yumi Sasaki for their assistance in preparing the
volume and Janice Brown and Sandra Tompson for their support in organizing
the symposium.
List of contributors
Makoto Hayashi
University of Illinois at Urbana-
Champaign, USA
Kaoru Horie
Nagoya University, Japan
Shoichi Iwasaki
University of Hawaii, Manoa/
University of California,
Los Angeles, USA
Yuki Johnson
Te Johns Hopkins University,
Kaori Kabata
University of Alberta, Canada
Yoshiko Matsumoto
Stanford University, USA
Naomi Hanaoka McGloin
University of Wisconsin-Madison,
Junko Mori
University of Wisconsin-Madison,
Heiko Narrog
Tohoku University, Japan
Shigeko Okamoto
University of California, Santa Cruz,
Tsuyoshi Ono
University of Alberta, Canada
Rumiko Shinzato
Georgia Institute of Technology,
Yasuhiro Shirai
University of Pittsburgh, USA
Ryoko Suzuki
Keio University, Japan
Timothy J. Vance
National Institute for Japanese
Language and Linguistics, Japan
Situating usage-based (Japanese) linguistics
Tsuyoshi Ono and Ryoko Suzuki
1. Introduction
Starting in the mid-70s, the feld of linguistics saw an explosion of a new breed of
research represented by the work of scholars including Bybee, Chafe, Comrie, Du
Bois, Fillmore, Givn, Haiman, Hopper, Lakof, Langacker, Li, Mithun, Talmy, and
Tompson. Tis movement, though not organized as a research paradigm as a
whole, shares a number of evolving theoretical assumptions, research goals, and
focus of investigation as well as the types of data and methodologies employed. Its
various specifc subgroupings and instantiations have been (self-)identifed by
such designations and labels as Cognitive Grammar/Linguistics, Construction
Grammar, (discourse-)functional linguistics, functionally-oriented linguistics,
West Coast discourse-functional linguistics, and, more recently, usage-based lin-
guistics, which we adopt for this volume.
Te present Japanese-focused volume contains articles written by the second
and third generation of linguists belonging to this tradition. In this introduction,
we will highlight a set of interrelated themes featured in this tradition to situate
the articles in the volume. Our goal is to help the reader gain an understanding of
the main fndings and theoretical implications in our collective efort to better
capture the nature of human language in general and the grammar of Japanese in
2. Temes in usage-based linguistics
2.1 Universals and cross-linguistic orientation
As is found in some of the traditional schools of linguistics, usage-based linguis-
tics has been very much concerned with universals. Tere are perhaps two distinc-
tive characteristics for the study of universals in usage-based linguistics. (1) Since
i Tsuyoshi Ono and Ryoko Suzuki
its inception in the 70s, usage-based linguists have had a strong cross-linguistic
orientation; proposals for universals in usage-based linguistics were made based
inductively on the examination of multiple languages (e.g., Keenan & Comrie
1977; Hopper & Tompson 1980). Te motivation for the cross-linguistic orienta-
tion is obvious and inevitable in that one of the main goals of usage-based linguis-
tics is to identify a set of universal principles of human language, and one has to
look at more than one language to reach that goal. Tis characteristic originates in
the work by Greenberg (e.g., 1963) and has resulted in the research tradition rep-
resented by such researchers as Givn, Li, Tompson, Bybee, Shibatani, Mithun,
Comrie, Dryer, Crof, and Haspelmath. Proposals in other schools, in contrast,
have strongly tended to be based on select languages, typically just English, though
studies in recent years in the latter appear to involve more and more languages,
perhaps due to infuence from the cross-linguistic orientation of the former. You
will fnd that papers by Horie and Narrog, Shinzato, and Shirai in this volume are
particularly good representatives of this orientation. (2) Along with the cross-
linguistic orientation to the search for universals, the suggested universals have
been motivated by functional factors: (a) cognitive and discourse factors such as
memory, attention, economy and iconicity (e.g., Chafe (1980), Givn (1983),
Haiman (1985), and (b) afective, social, and interactional factors such as emotion,
relationships among interactants, and (dis-)preferred social actions,(e.g., Ochs &
Schiefelin 1989; Sacks, Scheglof & Jeferson 1974). Some of these functional mo-
tivations will be further discussed below.
2.2 External factors and interdisciplinary orientation
An important theme which characterizes usage-based linguistics is the recogni-
tion that language is not a static self-contained entity but is a living organism in-
terfaced with, and thus shaped constantly by, a wide range of non-language factors
including human cognition and interactional concerns.
Cognition (ofen called simply semantics)
Usage-based linguists argue that cognition plays an integral role in every facet of
linguistic activities Langacker 1987. What speakers perceive and feel in context is
tied to the linguistic structure representing the degree of beliefs and various perspec-
tives taken by the speaker and others whose views are embedded in the utterance.
Cognitive concerns are thus naturally refected in the way language changes and is
structured over time. Cognition forms a basis for a number of papers in the present
volume including Horie and Narrog, Iwasaki, Johnson, McGloin, and Shinzato.
Introduction: Situating usage-based (Japanese) linguistics
Discourse/information structure/frequency
Another factor which usage-based linguistics has been oriented to is what is called
information fow (Chafe 1994). For instance, the informational status of a refer-
ent, such as givenness, expectedness, familiarity and so on, is shown to correlate
with several facets of grammar. One example is that the semantic and pragmatic
status of noun phrases in a clause gives rise to crystalization of a particular argu-
ment structure: many languages grammaticize agentivity/topicality which leads to
the same case-marking for subjects of intransitives and that of transitives, whereas
many other languages code newness, with subjects of intransitives and objects of
transitives using the same case-marking (See Du Bois 1985, 1987 for details). It is
important to note that, in usage-based linguistics, the frequency of certain con-
fgurations in discourse is treated as an essential clue to understanding linguistic
structure. Te papers by Kabata and Shirai exhibit some of the characteristics of
this thread.
Investigation of language based on usage gains insights from careful observation
of the ways in which interlocutors manage conversation moment-by- moment to
achieve a wide range of communicative goals. In particular, turn-taking is one of
the major topics of investigation among research on conversational interaction.
Researchers discuss the nature of prosodic/grammatical units and other interac-
tional factors, including gaze and gestures, interacting together to constitute a
TCU (turn construction unit). Tis research thread has led to the formation of a
new research paradigm called Interactional Linguistics, involving researchers such
as Tompson, Couper-Kuhlen, Ford, Fox, Selting. Te papers by Hayashi and Mori
in the present volume are particularly good examples representing this thread.
Interdisciplinary orientation
As a natural consequence of having to deal with the above-mentioned factors,
which are well studied in felds outside of linguistics, it is evident that usage-based
linguistics has been an interdisciplinary endeavor. It necessarily closely intersects
with psychology and cognitive science on the one hand, and sociology, anthropol-
ogy and communication studies on the other.
2.3 Parting from intuition
Usage-based linguists have long expressed concerns regarding the use of speakers
grammaticality judgment (the so-called native speakers intuition) of constructed
examples as the primary data and methodology to study what is claimed to be core
| Tsuyoshi Ono and Ryoko Suzuki
properties of language. For this reason, from early on, usage-based linguists distin-
guished themselves by taking into consideration semantics and pragmatics in ana-
lyzing linguistic structure even though they were then still examining constructed
examples. In the mid-80s, going along with the idea that the study of the structure
and use of language cannot be separated, usage-based linguists gradually shifed
their attention to actual use: discourse. Initially this was done with more readily
available types of data such as written texts and traditional folk tales and more eas-
ily collectable data such as elicited spoken narratives, but starting in the early/mid
90s, more and more researchers have been turning their attention to everyday talk,
the primary form of language, on which both qualitative and quantitative analyses
focusing on cognitive, discourse, afective, social and interactional factors are per-
formed. Tis research has mostly been hypothesis-building in nature in that one
observes data carefully and sorts out the patterns which emerge out of the data. All
the contributions in the current volume address the problem of relying solely on
intuition, though Iwasaki, Johnson, and McGloin particularly underscore the util-
ity of the traditional methods. More recently, however, an increasing number of
researchers have started employing rather sophisticated statistical methodologies
on large scale corpora to test specifc hypotheses and further engaging in experi-
mental work trying to pin down specifc factors in actual language use. Papers by
Kabata and Vance are good examples of this newer trend.
Unfortunately, progress along these lines is hampered by the general lack of
large-scale corpora representing naturally occurring talk. Tat is, the large corpora
currently available are severely limited in everyday talk, the primary form lan-
guage, and instead made up mostly of various types of written sources and, in
some rather limited cases, monologues and speeches as well as conversations cre-
ated for research purposes, even though claims based on them are typically made
as general properties of particular languages or human language in general. It
should be pointed out that Japanese is no exception to this overwhelming pattern.
Needless to say, constructed situations in experimental studies which are assumed
to bring out human behavior in actual interactional contexts are, at the very least,
suspect. Tis is perhaps the main reason why some usage-based linguists have
tended to be skeptical about many of the fndings of these recent statistical and
experimental studies.
It is our belief that in order to further advance the science of Japanese linguis-
tics, the frst step to take should be to try constructing a corpus representing vari-
ous types of language use (determining what is a proper mix of various types of
language use in itself is an important project of its own), especially representing
naturally occurring talk. Tis would become a major milestone not only for the
study of Japanese but also for human language in general since large-scale corpora
of naturally occurring talk are still extremely limited.
Introduction: Situating usage-based (Japanese) linguistics ,
2.4 Non-discrete nature of linguistic categories
Another area where usage-based linguists distinguish themselves from those with
more traditional views is the understanding and therefore treatment of linguistic
categories. Traditionally, linguistic categories such as nouns vs. verbs have tended
to be thought of as discrete entities. However, usage-based studies (Hopper &
Tompson 1980, 1984; Givn 1983; Langacker 1987, 1991) have highlighted the
non-discrete nature of linguistic categories where such categories as noun, verb,
transitivity, and topic are better understood, not in terms of yes or no, but more or
less, such as more/less nouny/verby, more/less (in)transitive, more/less topical, and
so forth. Tis is, however, still far from being a mainstream view as observed in
how these categories are discussed and treated by linguists with various theoretical
orientations in the literature. In our view, studies dealing with the categories are
minimally responsible for justifying their particular treatment rather than simply
assuming that they are discrete. Again a number of papers in this volume, includ-
ing Johnson, McGloin, and Okamoto, exhibit some characteristics of this thread.
Perhaps not unrelated to the idea that linguistic categories are not discrete is
the usage-based linguists view on the general structure of grammar. Te other
commonly held traditional view of grammar is that language consists of specifc
components such as syntax, phonetics, and lexicon, which might at frst seem rea-
sonable. Tose who hold the view that language consists of components contend
that it is simply a hypothesis while usage-based linguists say if it is a hypothesis, it
needs to be tested. Again usage-based linguists commonly view that (1) boundaries
among those components are much less discrete than has been assumed, (2) in fact,
some of the standard separate components seem to be much better understood as
having a diferent type of structure such as grammar and lexicon forming one sin-
gle component (Langacker 1987) where the notion of grammar and lexicon is
captured in terms of degree such as more or less grammatical/lexical, and (3) min-
imally one should not simply assume that language consists of components; it needs
to be verifed. Papers by Matsumoto, Okamoto, Shinzato, and Shirai in this volume
give relevant discussion to this issue. Further, as we will suggest below, the non-
discreteness observed in these traditional components of grammar might simply
be a consequence of the reality of actual human behavior: language change.
2.5 No division between synchrony and diachrony
One of the crucial questions that usage-based linguists would ask is why languages
have become the way they are now. Paying special attention to recurrent patterns
in discourse and where and how the patterns emerge, they view grammar as evolv-
ing through frequent use, thus constantly-changing, rather than static and fxed.
o Tsuyoshi Ono and Ryoko Suzuki
In other words, rather than subscribing the commonly held distinction of syn-
chrony and diachrony, the researchers take a non-discrete view in terms of the
temporality of the data. Hopper (1987) coined the term emergent grammar to
indicate that there is nothing called a grammar of language in reality, but what we
see in everyday talk is the process of grammaticization (grammaticalization) in
which fuid uses become more fxed patterns through recurrence (See also work by
Bybee 2010, Du Bois 1985, 1987 among others). A number of papers in this vol-
ume including Matsumoto, Shirai, and Shinzato address this issue.
3. Preview of the articles
Te reader will learn quickly that refecting theoretical, methodological, and tech-
nological advancements made in and outside the feld in recent years, the above
articles all focus on specifc phenomena employing various methodologies yet to-
gether manage to highlight general aspects of Japanese and human language.
Te frst part of this book deals with papers that are concerned with the inter-
action between cognition and language use. Te contribution by Naomi McGloin
is perhaps most traditional in that she compares cases where the use of the com-
plementizers no and koto are said to be interchangeable. Using constructed ex-
amples and internet data, McGoin, however, identifes some clear structural and
informational diferences associated with them where diferences should be cap-
tured not in terms of either or but in terms of degree. In particular, she shows
that, unlike what has previously been suggested, no actually interjects a strong
subjective stance by the speaker.
Yuki Johnson flls the gap between the traditional understanding of grammar
and actual usage by focusing on examples taken from conversation and e-mail as
well as speaker judgment about them. Specifcally, she focuses on garu and te-iru
which have both been traditionally analyzed to describe a state of mind which
belongs to someone other than the speaker. She fnds that the use of these forms is
closely tied with who the speaker considers her/his in- and out-group and con-
tends that one not only needs the description of standard grammar but usage data
to fully account for how they are used.
Te contribution by Shoichi Iwasaki focuses on a type of expression which
has escaped the attention of researchers, such as a! itai! Ouch!. Iwasaki shows that
these (internal) expressive sentences have a distinct set of grammatical patterns
which represent neurological experience of perception, emotion, and feeling
which the speaker undergoes. Iwasakis study is based on constructed data, but he
explores other ways in which one might study these expressions which are rather
difcult to obtain examples of in actual language use.
Introduction: Situating usage-based (Japanese) linguistics
Rumiko Shinzato also looks into traditionally neglected non-propositional
aspects of Japanese. Specifcally, she goes over various areas of Japanese language
intimately connected to the subjectivity and intersubjectivity distinction: the or-
der of predicate elements, the mental (e.g., omou think) /speech act (e.g., iu say)
verb diference, and soliloquy/dialogue distinction. She further highlights this
connection refected in diachronic change in terms of the unidirectionality of
Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog also take a cross-linguistic approach to their
study of modality in which they examine Japanese along with English, German,
and Korean. By examining specifc modal categories of these languages from a
typological perspective, Horie and Narrog suggest that the grammatical encoding
of modality varies cross linguistically much more than tense and aspect precisely
because it is tied to the socio-cultural cognition and communicative practices of
particular linguistic communities.
Part 2 presents those papers that examined the infuence of external factors,
including frequency and interactions on language use. Timothy Vance tackles a
well-known voicing phenomenon rendaku (also known as sequential voicing)
which is, as he shows, fundamentally irregular. Afer reviewing some experimental
studies which all result in partially regular patterns yet are not conclusive at all,
Vance wonders in the end if the feeling of predictability based on analogy might
result in the mistaken belief among speakers (perhaps linguists) that there is a
relatively straightforward regular rule what, as the current authors think, might
be responsible for some (or many) of what we conceive of as grammatical rules.
Yasuhiro Shirais study is cross-linguistic in nature by going over series of
studies focusing on various grammatical phenomena in Japanese as well as English
and Korean in order to establish the semantic basis of L1 grammatical develop-
ment. He advocates a view of grammar acquisition which is guided by semantic
prototypes formed from the input children are exposed to Shirai problematizes
a number of theoretical assumptions and devices such as the discreetness of cate-
gories and the modularity of grammar ofen uncritically adopted in traditional
Te paper by Kaori Kabata highlights the discrepancy between what is repre-
sented in Japanese grammar and what empirical data reveals. Specifcally, she
examines data from various sources including native speakers judgments and cor-
pora involving actual spoken and written language use and fnds that the Japanese
allative markers ni and e, which have been assumed be interchangeable exhibit
clear skews bringing into questions where diferent types of data show diferent
types of skews, how grammar should be understood and represented.
Junko Mori adopts the Conversation Analysis (CA) framework to examine
one particular type of the so-called clef construction, X wa Y da, in which she
8 Tsuyoshi Ono and Ryoko Suzuki
fnds the second Y da part is rarely produced in actual conversation. She instead
shows that the frst X wa part is tied to an extended unit of talk showing that the
relevant connection might not be syntax, as has been assumed based on the analy-
sis of constructed examples. Her fndings were supported by CA based evidence,
which most radically includes the analysis of bodily behavior demonstrating the
intimate connection between language and bodily behavior.
Perhaps in a very radical way, Makoto Hayashi directly examines the tight
connection between grammar and interaction in conversational data. Specifcally,
Hayashi focuses on joint turn construction a practice whereby a participant in
conversation completes a grammatical unit-in-progress initiated by another par-
ticipant and shows that grammar and interaction continuously shape each others
realization, again demonstrating the need of a dynamic view of grammar which
was traditionally absent in the feld of linguistics.
Te two papers in Part 3 deal with language change and variation. Te article
by Yoshiko Matsumoto analyzes data from actual speech and the internet. She
reveals that non-subject honorifc forms, which mark deference to the referent of
non-subject arguments of the clause, are instead used to mark deference to the
addressee (or the reader of the internet) demonstrating that grammatical device
marking a relationship among the referents expressed in the utterance (semantics)
has come to mark a relationship within the speech context (pragmatics). Tis new
use seems to be rather widely observed and is in fact accepted by Japanese speak-
ers, suggesting that they are not merely errors but another example of the change
documented in the history of Japanese where referential honorifcs changed into
addressee honorifcs.
Shigeko Okamoto adopts conversation data in her study of regional dialects
(Osaka and Yamaguchi) of Japanese with the background where switching of
distinct dialects of Japanese has been commonly discussed based on informal ob-
servations and self-report survey data. She fnds the actual use to be much more
complex and radically diferent since, at various points in producing utterances,
speakers variedly choose phonological, morphological, and lexical forms of the
regional and Standard Japanese forms (i.e., variant choice). Tis results in (a) con-
stant mixing of the two varieties within and across utterances and (b) diferent
amounts of the two, depending on the speaker. She calls for the need to study in-
dividual human behaviors in depth and for a dynamic view of language to account
for such a behavior.
As a whole, these papers provide us with a rich array of data and methodolo-
gies which illuminate Japanese grammar in context. Tey reveal multiple new
ways and layers of understanding of grammar as a usage-based phenomenon, nat-
urally associated with plentiful of traces of ongoing change.
Introduction: Situating usage-based (Japanese) linguistics
Bybee, Joan. 2010. Language, Usage and Cognition. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/
Chafe, Wallace L. 1980. Te Pear Stories: Cognitive, Cultural, and Linguistic Aspects of Narrative
Production, Vol. 3. Norwood NJ: Ablex.
Chafe, Wallace L. 1994. Discourse, consciousness, and time. Chicago IL: University of Chicago
Du Bois, John W. 1985. Competing motivations. In John Haiman (ed.), 34365.
Du Bois, John W. 1987. Te discourse basis of ergativity. Language 63(4): 80555. DOI:
Greenberg, Joseph H. 1963. Some universals of grammar with particular reference to the order
of meaningful elements. In Universals of Language, Vol. 2, Joseph H. Greenberg (ed.), 73
113. Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.
Givn, T. 1983. Topic Continuity in Discourse: A Quantitative Cross-language Study [Typological
Studies in Language 3]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/tsl.3
Haiman, John (ed.). 1985. Iconicity in Syntax: Proceedings of a Symposium on Iconicity in
Syntax, Stanford, June 246, 1983 [Typological Studies in Language 6]. Amsterdam: John
Benjamins .
Hopper, Paul J. 1987. Emergent grammar. BLS 13, 139157.
Hopper, Paul J. & Tompson, Sandra A. 1980. Transitivity in grammar and discourse. Language
56(2): 251299.
Hopper, Paul J. & Tompson, Sandra A. 1984. Te discourse basis for lexical categories in
Universal Grammar. Language 60(4): 703752. Reprinted in Aarts, Bas, Denison, David,
Keizer, Eveline & Popova, Gergana (eds). 2004. Fuzzy Grammar, 293308. Oxford: OUP.
Keenan, Edward L. & Comrie, Bernard. 1977. Noun phrase accessibility and universal grammar.
Linguistic Inquiry 8(1): 6399.
Langacker, Ronald W. 1987. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar: Teoretical Prerequisites, Vol. 1.
Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.
Langacker, Ronald W. 1991. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar: Descriptive Application, Vol. 2.
Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.
Ochs, Elinor & Schiefelin, Bambi. 1989. Language has a heart. Text 9(1): 725. DOI: 10.1515/
Sacks, Harvey, Scheglof, Emanuel A. & Jeferson, Gail. 1974. A simplest systematics for the orga-
nization of turn-taking for conversation. Language 50(4): 696735. DOI: 10.2307/412243
part 1
Cognition and language use
Subordination and information status
A case of To and Koto complement clauses
in Japanese
Naomi H. McGloin
Tis paper examines one type of subordinate construction in Japanese, namely,
complement clauses, in particular those where two diferent complementizers, to
and koto, are interchangeable. Despite the general notion that main clauses code
foreground information (or express a main assertion) while subordinate clauses
code background information (or less profled information), our examination
shows that some subordinate clauses do code more important foreground
information. Subordinate clauses are not by any means a unitary category; they
display difering degrees of subordination. My goals, therefore, are to delineate
diferences between the two complementizer uses, and to show that clauses
with to and koto present difering degrees of subordination, and that there is a
correlation between degree of subordination and information status.
1. Introduction
Te status of subordinate clauses
and subordination has been of interest to lin-
guists for some time. Davidson (1979: 106107), for example, ofers the following
criteria for subordinate constructions:
1. Tis paper was originally presented at the Symposium on Functional Approaches to
Japanese Grammar, held at the University of Alberta, August 2022, 2004. I am grateful to all the
participants of the symposium for their comments. I am particularly indebted to Shigeko
Okamoto for her comments on an earlier version of the paper, and editors of this volume,
Tsuyoshi Ono and Kaori Kabata, for their detailed comments on the draf version of this paper.
I am also grateful to the anonymous reviewer of this volume for insightful comments.
2. Matthiessen and Tompson 1988, for one, distinguishes two types of subordination embed-
ding (e.g., relative clauses) and clause combining (clauses connected by connectives, conditional/
temporal phrases, etc.). In this paper, I am using subordination to cover both of these types.
:| Naomi H. McGloin
(1) Syntactic:
a. non-fnite verb
b. complementizer, conjunction, relative pronoun (Tis means relative
clauses, complement clauses and adverbial clauses are considered to
be subordinate clauses.)
c. special word order, impossibility of inversion (in English), presence of
special mood
d. ability to undergo movement as a constituent
e. backwards pronominalization, deletion of subject by Equi, etc.
f. proper inclusion within another clause
a. dependency of thought; greater cohesion of constituents
b. contents of the clauses are presupposed to be true, or not a separate
c. contents of the clause are in the scope of some higher predicate; nega-
tion, question, etc.
d. clause plays a grammatical role in another clause; subject, object, etc.
a. clause expresses background information
b. clause functions as a modifer of some other sentence, adjacent in dis-
In addition, it has been claimed that subordinate clauses are more conservative
and resist innovations. Matsuda (1998), for example, examines two competing po-
tential sufxes (conservative (tabe)rareru form and innovative (tabe)reru form)
and fnds a statistically signifcant diference in their occurrences: the innovative
form is more advanced in main clauses than in embedded clauses (p < .008).
Te relationship between the subordinate status of clauses and the information
structure how main and subordinate clauses code given and new information, or
background and foreground information, has been the center of some controversy
(Givn 1979; Fox & Tompson 1990; Tomlin 1985; Prideaux 1993). Te conven-
tional view is that subordinate clauses are presupposed, and hence should contain
given information while new information is expected to reside in main clauses
(Bever 1969, 1970; Givn 1979). Langacker (1991: 436) states, A subordinate
clause is ... one whose profle is overridden by that of the main clause. Prideaux
(1993: 57), although he actually argues against the following view, states:
A further factor which might also be at work here is some version of the principle
of iconicity (Haiman 1985; Givn 1989), according to which the more central,
important, and new information could be placed iconically in the more salient
Subordination and information status :,
main clause, which of course can stand alone, while the less important given in-
formation fnds itself relegated to an iconically less salient subordinate clause sta-
tus. A similar possibility seems to hold for the proposed foreground-background
distinction, where foreground information tends to be found in main clauses and
background information in subordinate clauses.
Tomlin (1985) fnds that the aforementioned correlation between information
status and main-subordinate distinction holds, i.e., independent clauses code
foreground and pivotal information; dependent clauses code background infor-
mation. (p. 85) More work, however, has shown that this correlation does not al-
ways hold true (Schleppegrell 1992; Tompson 2002; Prideaux 1993). Prideaux
(1993), for example, examines adverbial and relative clauses, both in oral and writ-
ten narratives, and fnds that there is a signifcant tendency for relative clauses to
encode new information as well as a strong tendency for adverbial clauses to rep-
resent new information. Te problem here, of course, is that notions of
foreground/background information and new/old information do not always co-
incide. It is possible that clauses containing new information create a background-
ing efect in discourse. We will examine notions of foreground/background infor-
mation later in the next section.
Tompson (2002), moreover, claims that some complement clauses, which are
grammatically subordinated, actually contain the main assertion of the utterance.
Based on an examination of actual conversations, she argues that in the majority
of cases, the complement overrides the main clause, and the main clause is there
to provide the speaker stance towards the assessments, claims, counterclaims, and
proposals (2002: 134). In other words, the complement clause represents fore-
ground information.
In the present paper, I will examine one type of subordinate construction in
Japanese, i.e., complement clause. In particular, I will investigate cases where two
diferent complementizers to and koto are interchangeable. My goals are two fold
(1) to delineate diferences between the two complementizer uses, and (2) to show
that clauses with to and koto present difering degrees of subordination, and that
there is a correlation between degree of subordination and information status. In
particular, I would argue that to complementizer, being less subordinate than koto,
has an efect of foregrounding information presented in the complement clause.
2. Foreground vs. background information
Te notion of foreground vs. background information has been used in analyzing
narrative organization (Longacre 1976; Hopper 1979). Hopper (1979: 213214)
defnes the parts of the narrative which relate events belonging to the skeletal
:o Naomi H. McGloin
structure of the discourse as foreground, and the background as what amplif[ies]
or comment[s] on the events of the main narrative. So, in (2), the gerund clause
represents a background event, as opposed to the main clause, which represents a
foreground event. We journeyed for several days, passing through a few villages.
(Hopper 1979: 215)
Applying these concepts beyond analysis of narrative structure, Tomlin (1985:
89) characterizes foreground information as information which is more central or
salient or important to the development of the discourse theme and background
information as that which elaborates or develops foreground information.
In the present paper, I will propose that a certain construction has a fore-
grounding efect in the sense that the speaker, by using this particular construc-
tion, presents a piece of information as particularly important to the main theme/
argument/claim or worthy of attention, thereby emphasizing or strongly asserting
this information toward the addressee. On the other hand, a backgrounding ef-
fect obtains when information is presented as expected or obvious or subordinate
in importance.
Observe the following sentences.
(3) A: Hasami doko ni oita kana?
scissors where at put-pst I wonder
Where did I put the scissors, I wonder.
B: Soko ni aru janai.
there at exist
Its there, dont you know?
(4) Dooshi toka demo, koko dattara ekaado o
Verbs like even here cop-if picture card acc
tsukatte yaru janai desu ka?
use do
Sooyuu no mo nai kara, ....
such thing one also not exist because
In regards to verbs, here we practice using picture cards, right?, but since
they dont have such things, so ....
In (3), janai has an expressive function, and Bs utterance ending with janai fore-
grounds the information. Here, B is pointing out the fact that the scissors are
(right) there to A, who does not notice them. In (4), on the other hand, janai has a
textual function. In (4), janai is used textually to provide an anaphoric reference
3. Tis is taken from Ide (1984).
4. Tis example comes from a conversation between two native speakers of Japanese, which
was recorded at an American university as part of a research project on Japanese discourse.
Subordination and information status :
for the following pronominal expression (sooyuu no such thing). In the sense that
the sentence ending with janai is there to introduce information for further com-
ments, it can be said that this information is subordinate in importance to what
follows, and hence is backgrounded.

3. Degree of subordination
It has been noted that various embedded clauses manifest diferent degrees of sub-
ordination to the main clauses (Kuno 1973; Minami 1974; Masuoka & Takubo
1992; Moriyama 2000). Moriyama classifes subordinate clauses into three types.
Clauses which cannot have an independent subject, as in (5), are considered to
have the greatest degree of subordination.
(5) a. Taroo ga terebi o mi-nagara, benkyoo suru.
nom tv acc see-while study do
Taroo studies while watching TV.
b. *Taroo ga terebe o mi-nagara, Hanaoko ga benkyoo suru.
*Hanako studies during Taroos watching TV.
Temporal and conditional clauses are considered to be less subordinate since
they can have an independent subject diferent from the main clauses. However,
they cannot embed modals (e.g., daroo probably) or the thematic particle wa,
which express speaker subjectivity, as in (6b) and (6c).
(6) a. Hanako ga ie ni kaeru to, Taroo ga
nom home to return when nom
sake o yooishita.
sake acc prepared
When Hanako got home, Taroo served sake.
b. *Hanako ga ie ni kaeru daroo to, Taroo ga sake o yooishita
*When Hanako probably went home, Taroo served sake.
c. *Hanako wa ie ni kaeru to, Taroo ga sake o yooishita.
As for Hanako, when she got home, Taroo served sake.
5. McGloin (1999) argues that this textual function of janai (desu ka) is a relatively recent us-
age. See McGloin (1999) for the expressive and textual functions of janai (desu ka).
:8 Naomi H. McGloin
Clauses such as -kara because and -keredo but are the least subordinate, and
they share many syntactic characteristics with an independent clause. For instance,
just like independent clauses, kara and keredo clauses not only can have an inde-
pendent subject but also embed modals and the thematic particle wa, as in (7).
(7) a. Heya wa shimatte iru kara, Taroo wa inai.
room top close is because top exist-neg
Te door to the room is shut, so Taroo is not in.
b. Isogashii daroo kara, ato de denwa o suru.
busy probably because later telephone acc do
Since you are probably busy, I will call you later.
Now, what distinguishes even the least subordinate clauses such as -kara and
-keredo from an independent clause is the fact that these clauses do not embed
sentence fnal particles such as ne and yo, which ofen occur at the end of an inde-
pendent sentence.
(8) a. Kono hon wa omoshiroi yo.
this book top interesting fp
Tis book is interesting, I tell you.
b. *Kono hon wa omoshiroi yo
this book top interesting fp
kara, yonde iru.
because read be
*Since this book is interesting, I tell you, I am reading it.
Tis can be summarized in Table I.
Table I.
More subordinate less
nagara while
tsutsu while
-to when
tara, ba if/when
keredo but
kara because
Can S1 and S2 have diferent subjects? NO YES YES
Can S1 embed modals (e.g., daroo)? NO NO YES
Can S1 embed a thematic particle wa? NO NO YES
Do sentence fnal particles appear in S1? NO NO NO
6. Tese clauses also do not embed imperatives, volitional forms, which occur in independent
Subordination and information status :
4. Object complement clause in Japanese
In the following, we will examine object complement construction in Japanese and
show that a complement clause, which is syntactically subordinate to the main
clause, does carry the main import of the sentence. It will be shown that there is a
correlation between foregrounding efect and degree of subordination.
4.1 Overview
In Japanese, object complement clauses can be marked by to, koto, or no, as in (9).
(9) a. John wa Mary ga nihongo o hanasu to itta.
top nom Japanese acc speak cp say-pst
John said that Mary speaks Japanese.
b. John wa Mary ga nihongo o hanasu koto o shitte iru.
top nom Japanese acc speak cp acc know be.
John knows that Mary speaks Japanese.
c. John wa Mary ga nihongo o hanasu no o kiita.
top nom Japanese acc speak cp acc hear-pst
John heard Mary speaking Japanese.
Kuno (1973: 213) observes:
Te koto and no clauses represent an action, state, or event that the speaker pre-
supposes to be true, while the to clause represents an action, state, or event that
does not have such a presupposition.
So, in (9a), the speaker does not presuppose the complement sentence to be true
i.e., Mary might or might not speak Japanese, while in (9b) and (9c), the speaker
knows that it is true that Mary speaks Japanese. Hence, it is generally the case that
to is associated with non-factivity, and koto and no with factivity. To marks an ob-
ject complement clause of nonfactive predicates, such as verbs of saying, verbs of
thinking and counter-factual verbs, while koto/no mark a complement clause of
factive predicates. Furthermore, the diference between koto and no is said to be
abstract vs. concrete. When the complement clause represents an abstract idea
such as the complement of the verb to learn, koto is used. On the other hand, for
the complement clauses of verbs of sense perception, such as to see, to hear, etc.,
which involve concrete and direct experiences, no is used.
7. For more detailed discussions of factivity and complementation, see Kuno (1973),
Suzuki (1997) and McCauley (1978).
io Naomi H. McGloin
For the present paper, it is also important to note that some of the factive
predicates i.e., what are generally called semi-factive predicates
(e.g., to know,
to learn, to fnd out, to realize) can mark their complement clauses either with to
or koto, as in the following examples.
(10) a. Tokyo wa bukka ga takai koto o shitte imasu.
top cost nom expensive that acc know-be
I know that the cost of living is expensive in Tokyo.
b. Tokyo wa bukka ga takai to shitte imasu.
I know that the cost of living is expensive in Tokyo.
Since it is generally assumed that the diference between to and koto is the matter
of factivity, it was somewhat of a mystery why the non-factive complementizer to
sometimes co-occurs with factive predicates, namely those which are classifed as
semifactives. Kuno (1973: 217), for one, observed, For some mysterious reason,
siru to get to know can be used with to in certain contexts. (see Section 4.3 for
more discussion on this.)
In the following discussion, we will zero in on cases like (10). We will not ex-
amine the diferences between koto and no. Tis is because the focus of this paper
is to examine the relationship between degree of subordination and foregrounding
efect and for this purpose we will be focusing on verbs which allow alternation
between to and koto.
4.2 To vs. Koto: Syntactic diferences and degree of subordination
To is generally said to mark a quotation, and as such it can introduce both direct
and indirect quotations.
In a case like (9a), however, it is considered to be a case
8. Semifactives are diferent from true factives in that it is possible to construct sentences in
which the truth of a semifactive complement cannot be inferred from the entire sentence.
(Hooper 1975: 114) So, if one says, it is possible that I will fnd out that I have not told the
truth, the complement sentence is not presupposed to be true even the speaker does not know
whether he has told the truth or not. (cf. Karttunen 1971; Hooper 1975)
9. Direct quotations are generally distinguished from indirect quotations in Japanese by the
use of a logophoric quotation marker. Moreover, if the to-marked sentence has fnal particles,
polite desu/masu endings and deictic words such as ashita tomorrow, it can only be a direct
quote. (i) is a case of a direct quote and (ii) an indirect quote.
(i) Tanaka wa Kyoo sensei ni aimashita yo to itta.
top today teacher with meet-pst fp qt Say-pst
Tanaka said, I met my teacher today.
(ii) Tanaka wa sono hi sensei ni atta to itta.
top that day teacher with meet-pst qt say-pst
Tanaka said he met his teacher that day.
For more discussion on this, see Coulmas (1985), Maynard (1986), and Kamada (1988), among
Subordination and information status i:
of indirect quotation and here to is considered to be an object complementizer in
that it serves to link a complement clause to the main clause. In the following, we
will examine how to and koto behave diferently syntactically and demonstrate
that to complement clauses show more syntactic independence than koto comple-
ment clauses.
Applying three criteria for degree of subordination proposed by Moriyama
(cf. Section 3), both to and koto clauses can have a diferent subject from that of the
main clause.
Second, to clauses embed certain types of modal expressions, while koto claus-
es do not.
(11) a. Sekai wa heiwa ni naru daroo to omotta.
world top peaceful become probably cp think-pst
I thought the world would probably become peaceful.
b. Sekai ga heiwa ni naru daroo to wakatte ita.
world nom peaceful become probably cp knew
I knew that the world would probably become peaceful.
c. *Sekai ga heiwa ni naru daroo koto ga wakatta.
world nom peaceful become probably cp nom know-pst
I knew that the world would probably become peaceful.
(12) a. Nihon e ikoo to omotta
Japan to go-volitional cp think-pst
I thought I would go to Japan.
b. *Nihon e ikoo koto o kikaku shita.
Japan to go-volitional cp acc plan do-pst
I planned that I would go to Japan.
As for sentence-fnal particles, varying degrees of acceptability are observed. To
complement clauses of non-factive verbs seem to accept sentence-fnal particles,
as in (13a) and (13b). It is questionable in to complement clauses of semi-factive
verbs, as in (13c). It is not acceptable in koto clauses of either semi-factive verbs or
factive predicates as in (13d).
(13) a. Benkyoo sureba dekiru yo to omou.
study do-if can do fp cp think
I think (I) can do it if I study.
b. Omoshiroi ne to omotta.
interesting fp cp think-pst
I thought it was interesting.
ii Naomi H. McGloin
c. *Omoshiroi yo to wakatte imasu.
interesting fp cp know-be
I know it is interesting.
d. *Omoshiroi yo koto ga wakatte imasu.
So, according to Moriyamas criteria, to clauses are actually less subordinate than
koto clauses.
Tere are, moreover, other syntactic diferences between to complement claus-
es and koto clauses . For example, to complement clause can be pronominalized by
soo, while koto clauses cannot, as in (14).
(14) a. John wa nihongo ga yasashii to omotte
top Japanese nom easy cp think
iru. Watashi mo soo omou.
be I also so think
John thinks Japanese is easy. I think so too.
b. John wa amerika no dagaku ga taihen
top American lk college nom hard
da to wakatte iru.
cop cp know-be
John knows that American colleges are difcult.
Watashi mo soo wakatte iru.
I also so know-be
I also know so.
c. John wa kuroo shita koto o wasurete iru.
top hardship do-pst cp acc forget be
*Watashi mo soo wasurete iru.
I also so forget be
John forgot that (he) had a hard life. *I forgot so too.
Soo is a sentential pronoun, and the fact that it can replace a to clause indicates that
the to clause has a sentential status and thus is more independent than the koto
We can summarize these observations as follows:
10. It is interesting to note that the subject of the to complement clauses can be raised to the
main object position, as in (iii), but not the subject of the koto clause (cf. Masuoka & Takubo
1992: 186; Kuno 1976).
(iii) a. Nihonjin o kinben da to omoimasu ka?
Japanese acc diligent cop cp think Q
Do you think Japanese are diligent people?
Subordination and information status i
Table II.
More subordinate less subordinate
Complementizer koto to
Verb types True factives forget
Semifactives know
Diferent subjects? YES YES YES
Modal expressions? NO YES YES
Soo pronoun? NO YES YES
Sentence-fnal Particle NO NO ?YES
To the extent that to complement clauses can embed modal expressions, they are
more like independent sentences, and hence, we can say that to complement claus-
es show more independence as a clause than koto complement clauses. To clauses
with semi-factive predicates, moreover, seem more subordinate than to clauses
with non-factive predicates since the former does not allow sentence-fnal parti-
cles. Ten, what is the diference between to clauses with non-factive predicates
and independent sentences? To complement clauses of non-factive predicates are
still subordinate in nature because (1) they cannot stand alone, (2) occurrence of
sentence-fnal particles is not as free as in independent sentences, and (3) polite
sentence endings, including polite request forms (e.g., -te kudasai) and V-mashoo
lets V form, do not occur in to complement clauses. Te use of these polite forms
in to clauses generally turns the clauses into direct quotes.
4.3 To vs. Koto: Functional diferences
In this section, we will try to delineate functional diferences between complemen-
tizers to and koto. For this purpose, we will focus on those cases where alternation
between to and koto is observed. In Section 4.1, we noted that the semifactive
predicates (such as to know, to learn, to fnd out, etc.) take either to or koto as
their complementizers. By examining these cases, we will propose that the func-
tional diference between to and koto is not factivity, nor distance as is proposed
by Suzuki (1997), but rather that of foregrounding/backgrounding efects.
b. *John o bengoshi de aru koto o wasurete ita.
acc lawyer cp acc forget be-pst
I forgot that John is a lawyer.
In (iiia), nihonjin is the object of the main verb omou, and at the same, it is the subject of the
complement sentence kinben da.
i| Naomi H. McGloin
4.3.1 To as a marker of psychological distance
Suzuki (1997) gives an interesting account for the co-occurrence of to and these
semifactive predicates. Observe the following examples from Suzuki (1997: 298).
(15) Sore wa itsuka kaette kuru to ikura
that top some day return come cp how much
shitte ite-mo, hakkiri mimi ni suru made kesshite te
know:is:even if clearly hear until never hand
ni hairanai jikkan datta.
in enter:NEG real feeling was
Although I knew very well that he was coming home some day, I did not
feel that would actually happen until I heard it with my own ears.
(16) Chishiki to shite wa ka de wa utsuranai tte
knowledge as mosquitoes by top transmit:neg CP
wakatte ite-mo kininarimashita.
know:is:even if was concerned
Although I rationally knew that it was not communicable by mosquitoes,
I was still worried (Suzuki 1997: 298).
Using Frajzynger (1991)s notions of de dicto (the domain of speech) and de re (the
domain of reality), Suzuki argues that to, which also marks quotation, is character-
ized as a de dicto complementizer. Since what is quoted or reported is viewed by
the speaker as belonging to someone else, she argues that, when the speaker uses
to, s/he feels distanced from the information presented in the complement clause.
Te main function of to, she argues, is to suggest the speakers psychological dis-
tance from the information expressed in the complement clause (2001: 37).
According to Suzuki, the speaker is psychologically distanced from the follow-
ing kinds of information:
(17) a. information which the speaker regards (or presents) as that belonging
to others
b. information which the speaker does not entirely consider to be true
c. information which the speaker disapproves of in content
d. information which is viewed by the speaker objectively
In both (15) and (16), the complement clauses represent facts. However, a non-
factive to occurs. Tis is because the speaker is not entirely convinced of the reality
11. In (16), tte can be considered as a colloquial variant of to. Te use of tte, however, is broad-
er than to, and it is not certain if tte should indeed be analyzed simply as a variant of to. For
discussions of tte, see Okamoto (1995) and R. Suzuki (1999), among others.
Subordination and information status i,
of the information contained in the complement clause. Sentence (16), for exam-
ple, is said by a woman who went to Africa, where AIDS was an epidemic. While
she intellectually knew that the AIDS virus is not spread by mosquitoes, emotion-
ally she could not fully integrate this knowledge into her belief system, and in this
sense, she feels distanced from this fact.
Tis is an interesting account, and accounts for why to is used in the following
example also.
(18) Mausu ga warui to wakatte itemo, (gachagachagacha) to yatchau.
mouse nom bad cp know-be-even if (rattling noise) do
Wakatte ru n da kedo.
know:be nml cop but
Although I know that the (computer) mouse is bad, I still move it. I know
(its bad), but..
Before (18), the speaker said that she wished that somehow her computer get fxed
miraculously. Te speaker knows that the problem is a bad computer mouse, but
she cannot resist moving it, just wishing it worked. So, we could say that here the
speaker again has not integrated this fact into her belief system, or to is used here
because the speaker disapproves of its content.
4.3.2 To as a device to foreground information
When we look at actual discourse data,
there are many examples of to where the
speaker knows that the information represented in a complement clause is true
and no psychological distance is detected on the part of the speaker.
(19) Hontoo wa ii ko da to wakatte ita node, chuui
reality good child cop cp know-state-Past because caution
shitara, sono tsugi kara wa chikoku mo nakunari, totemo
do-when that next from to be late also cease very
tsukiai yasuku narimashita yo.
associate easy became fp
(, 07/29/02)
I knew that (he) was actually a good kid, so I gave (him) a word of cau-
tion. Ten, the following day, he stopped being late (for class) and (he)
became easy to deal with.
12. Tis example comes from the authors feld notes.
13. Te majority of the data come from internet web sites. Tey were collected using the google
search engine.
io Naomi H. McGloin
(20) Kitakuni to onaji sharyoo to wakatte ita node joosha ga
with same train(car) cp know be-pst because riding nom
tanoshimi deshita.
looking forward to was
I knew that it was the same train (car) as that of Kitakuni, so I was really
looking forward to riding it.
In (19) and (20), the complement clauses do not represent information that the
speaker feels distanced from. On the contrary, the speaker seems quite convinced
of the information presented in the complement clauses. In (19), the speaker is
strongly convinced that the kid has a good heart (although others might not think
so, as indicated by the use of hontoo wa), and that this is a positive characteristic,
not something that the speaker disapproves of. Similarly, in (20), the speaker knew
that the train s/he was taking was the same as another special train, and since s/he
believes this to be true and is not wishing it otherwise, there is no reason for the
speaker to feel distanced from the information.
Te actual data show that the cases where to is used with these semifactive
predicates are when the speaker has some reason to foreground or emphasize the
content of the complement clauses. Observe the following example.
(21) Isetan no mae de takushii ni noroo to shite, takushii noriba
lk front at taxi in try to ride do taxi station
ni iru kakari no hito ni hikoojoo made ikura?
at is person in charge lk person to airport to how much
to kiitara, 400 baatsu to iwarete, bikkuri. Saki ni
cp ask:when cp say:passive surprised beforehand
shitashirabe shite,
investigation do
shinai kara kuukoo made wa 200 baatsu kurai to
downtown from airport to top about cp
shitte ita node meetaa de iku to ittara, takushii
know:was because meter by go cp say:when taxi
wa ok shite kurete, meetaa wa 180 baatsu deshita.
top do give meter top cop:pst
I wanted to get a taxi in front of Isetan, so I asked the person in charge
of the taxi how much it would cost to the airport. (He) said it would be
400 baht, and I was very surprised. I had done some homework before
(the trip) and knew that it would be about 200 baht, so I asked the taxi
driver if he would use the meter fare. He said OK, and the meter fare
was 180 baht.
Subordination and information status i
In this passage, the speaker, who was traveling in Tailand, is talking about the taxi
fare. Te fact that it should be about 200 baht is what he/she had found out prior
to the trip, and the speaker believes that this information is correct as opposed to
what she was told by the taxi stand attendant. It does not seem that the speaker
feels distanced from what he/she knew prior to the trip. Tere was, on the other
hand, a discrepancy between what he/she had expected and what he/she was told,
and since what he/she knew was the reason why he/she decided to go by meter
rather than by a fxed fee, there is reason why the speaker might feel the need to
assert/highlight (i.e., foreground) what he/she knew--i.e., the taxi fare should be
about 200 baht.
4.3.3 To vs. Koto: Foregrounding/backgrounding efect
My examination shows that to tends to be used with the verbs of knowing where
there is some contrasting information or where the speaker has a need to impress
a particular information on an addressee. Koto, on the other hand, has the efect of
keeping an information in the background, as something expected, predictable, or
taken for granted. What is involved here is not the semantic notion of assertion
vs. presupposition, but rather a more pragmatic one, perhaps similar to what
Lambrecht (1994: 66) calls pragmatic accommodation. Lambrecht talks about
accommodation for presupposition where the speaker/writer can create the pre-
supposition in the hearer/readers mind by using the clause which requires the
presupposition, and thereby making it available as a background for the assertion
in the following main clause. (p. 69) In this sense, koto creates a backgrounding
efect, while to creates a foregrounding efect.
Te following paragraph presents an interesting contrast between the use of to
and koto.
(22) Conscientious railroad crossing
( 5/6/02)
Kono shigatsu (Heisei 13 nen) ni tennin ga atte,
Tis April 13th year of Heisei in job transfer nom was
tsuukin keiro ga kawatta no da ga, sono tochuu ni
commuting route nom changed nml cop but that on the way at
juutai ga hidoi fumikiri ga aru.
trafc jam nom bad railroad crossing nom exist
Tis April, I was transferred to another ofce, and now I have to take a
diferent route to my work. On the way, there is a railroad crossing with
frequent trafc jams.
(sentences omitted)
i8 Naomi H. McGloin
ichijikan no uchi ippun teido wa ressha tsuuka
one hour lk within one minute about top train passing
no tame ni shadanki ga oriru no da
for the purpose of crossing gate nom come down nml cop
ga ato no 59fun wa mattaku ressha ga tooranai
but rest lk 59 minutes top at all train nom pass-neg
jikan na no da.
time nml cop
Te crossing gate comes down for one minute per hour so that the train
can pass, but the rest of the hour for 59 minutes, no train passes by.
a Shikashi, mattaku ressha ga konai koto ga wakatte
but (not) at all train nom come:Neg cp nom know
itemo, dooro kootsuuhoo o mamoru to yuu koto ni
be:even if trafc rule acc observe to
naru to, fumikiri no chokuzen de kuruma wa
become when crossing lk before at car top
ichiji teishi o shinakereba naranai.
momentary stop acc do:have to
But, even if we know that the train is not coming, we have to make
a stop in order to observe the trafc rules.
(sentences omitted)
Sokode, fumikiri o tsuukasuru kuruma wa, ressha
So, crossing acc pass through car top train
ga konai
nom come:neg
b koto ga wakatte iru jikantai demo majimeni
cp nom know be time even conscientiously
ichijiteishi o suru node, onozuto kuruma no nagare
stop acc do because naturally car lk fow
ga waruku naru.
nom bad become
Terefore, cars which pass through the crossing make a stop even
during the time when we know that the train does not pass. Hence,
naturally, the cars get backed up.
(sentences omitted)
c Ressha ga konai to wakatte iru jikan ni wa ichijiteishi
train nom com-neg cp know be time at top stop
o shinaide toorinukeru no ga gooriteki
acc without doing pass through nml nom reasonable
Subordination and information status i
da to omou shi, soo sureba juutai ga okiru
cop cp think and so do:if trafc jam nom happen
koto ga nai.
that nom not exist
I think its more reasonable to cross the railroad tracks without
making a stop when we know that the train is not coming. If we do
that, there wont be any trafc jam.
d Ressha ga konai to wakatte iru jikan ni wa,
train nom come:neg cp know be time at top
jooji aoiro ni shite, kuruma ga teishi shinaide
always green dat do car nom stop without doing
toorinukerareru yoo ni shite oki, ressha ga tooru
pass through:can dat do train nom pass
toki dake kishingoo akashingoo ni sureba yoi no dearu.
time only yellow light red light do:if good nml cop
When we know the trains are not coming, we should keep the light
green all the time so that cars can pass through without making a
stop. It should be fne to change the light to yellow or red only when
the trains pass through.
In this passage, the writer talks about the railroad crossing where cars have to
come to a complete stop, thereby contributing to the backup of cars. Te writer
thinks it unreasonable that cars are required to come to a complete stop every time
they pass through this crossing, since the trains pass by only once every hour. In
this passage, the same phrase meaning we know that the train does not pass by is
used four times. In the frst two instances (arrows a and b), koto is used as in ressha
ga konai koto ga wakatte iru (one) knows that the train is not coming, while in the
last two instances (c and d), to is used as in ressha ga konai to wakatte iru. It is true
that grammatically both koto and to are acceptable in all four instances, but then
why did the writer choose koto for the frst two instances and to for the last two
instances? Tis must not be simply accidental. I would argue that koto is used in
the frst two instances because the writer is simply stating the fact matter-of-factly,
setting up a stage for what follows (i.e., backgrounding efect obtains). In the last
two instances, on the other hand, the writer is trying to make the point that people
should be allowed not to make a stop during the time period when people know
that the train does not pass by. In other words, the information presented in the
complement clause i.e., that the train does not pass by is crucial for the writers
claim, and hence, the writer needs to impress this piece of information on the
o Naomi H. McGloin
addressee (i.e., foregrounding efect obtains). I would argue that this subtle psy-
chological attitude is refected in the use of to and koto.
Sunakawa (1988, 1989) argues that to, being a quotation marker, introduces
the dual places the quoting itself and the quoted event. In case of verbs of judg-
ment, what is quoted is the speakers own thought. Because of this dual nature, to
can present the event as a proposition which is experienced by the subject at the
moment of thought. Koto, on the other hand, does not have this dual nature, and
thus can only present an event that the quoter has objectifed and conceptual-
ized. (Maynard 1996: 208) I believe this is why to can infuse the speakers subjec-
tive stance, thereby emphatically present (i.e., foreground) an information.
5. Conclusion
We started this investigation with the idea that main clauses code foreground
information (or express a main assertion) while subordinate clauses code back-
ground information (or less profled information). Our examination of some
Japanese subordinate clauses has shown that this is not always the case subordi-
nate clauses do code more important foreground information. Tis supports recent
fndings which question the categorical distinction between main vs. subordinate
clauses and, consequently, the idea that subordinate clauses are also subordinate
or secondary in importance to the main clause (Haiman & Tompson 1984;
Tompson & Mulac 1991; Englebretson 2003; Tompson 2002).
An examination of subordinate clauses in Japanese, moreover, has shown that
the subordinate clause is not by any means a unitary category, but that subordinate
clauses display difering degrees of subordination. Te correlation between inde-
pendence of clauses and information status still seems to hold with respect to the
degree of subordination the more independent clauses are, the more foreground-
ing efect it projects. It was shown that, between the two complementizers in
Japanese to and koto, to complement clause shows less degree of subordination
(or greater independence) and it has a foregrounding efect, while the koto clause
with a greater degree of subordination shows a backgrounding efect.
It has been pointed out that the meanings and functions of the complemen-
tizer to has a lot to do with the fact that it also serves as a quotation marker (Hayashi
1997; Maynard 1986; Suzuki 2001). In the past studies, however, this fact has been
used to argue that to clauses introduce psychological distance because the quoted
information is ascribed to someone other than the speaker. Suzuki (2001: 44), for
example, states, Tis grammatical non-incorporation refects the psychological
distance (i.e., psychological non-incorporation) that the speaker feels toward the
information in the to-complement. Along a similar line, Hayashi (1997: 580)
Subordination and information status :
proposes that the core function of to is invoking dual voice in the utterance and
shifing authority and responsibility for the proposition from the speaker who ut-
ters it. Tese characterizations of to miss the point that a quoted utterance can also
be the speakers own voice, for which the speaker takes full responsibility. Trough
examination of to and koto where they are interchangeable, I have argued that to
has an opposite efect to distancing. By choosing to, the speaker can inject his/her
strong subjective stance and this results in foregrounding information as central or
important to the development of his/her point/theme.
So, what does this study say about the nature of Japanese grammar and gram-
mar in general? I would like to ofer four observations.
1. Tis study ofers an additional piece of evidence for the non-discrete nature of
linguistic categories. It shows that not only the demarcation between main and
subordinate clauses is non-discrete, subordinate clauses themselves are not
unitary in nature. (cf. Okamoto & Ono 2008.)
2. Recent studies in discourse and conversation have clearly shown that there is
a great deal of diference between our conception of grammar and the way we
actually talk. Te traditional concept of sentence, for example, has been ques-
tioned because speakers do not generally talk in full sentences consisting of a
subject, an object and a predicate (Du Bois 1987; Ono & Tompson 1996;
Tompson & Hopper 2001; Iwasaki & Ono 2002, just to mention a few). While
I fully agree with the importance of looking at a particular construction in
context, this primacy of spoken data (or conversational data) might be prob-
lematic. Te complementizer to is a case in point. Although I knew that speak-
ers use the complementizer to with semifactive verbs, I was not able to fnd
any example in the many conversation data I had. I once heard an example of
it, but this was not part of the recorded conversations. Te google search, on
the other hand, yielded a large amount of examples. So, the data used in this
study were all from written discourse. Te question, then, is: are there two
grammars grammar of written (Japanese) language and grammar of spoken
(Japanese) language? Are the fndings of the present study pertinent only to
the grammar of written Japanese?
3. Related to the above question is the speakers intuition vs. what they actually
do. Te native speakers of the language can make reliable judgments about
many constructions they rarely hear or utter. For example, the speaker prob-
ably rarely hears a sentence such as Hanako ga yatta to hayagatenshita. (I mis-
understood that Hanako did it), but a native speaker has no problem telling
that, with this verb, to is fne but not koto. Native speakers intuition has to be
part of our knowledge of grammar. As Newmeyer (2003: 692) puts it, ...there
is a lot more to grammar than can be predicted from use in naturally occur-
ring discourse.
i Naomi H. McGloin
4. Lastly, Japanese is the language where the speaker/writers subjective attitudes/
stance are grammaticalized in various forms, such as sentence-fnal particles,
conjunctions, conditionals, etc. (Akatsuka 1985; Iwasaki 1993; McGloin 1977,
among others.) A connective noni although is more subjective while keredo
but is more objective, loosely speaking. Te complementizer to, then, in a
way, expresses the speaker/writers subjective stance, while koto indicates an
objective stance. It seems to me that any grammar of Japanese would have to
be able to account for the subjective/objective dichotomy, which seems to cut
across a broad spectrum of phenomena in Japanese.
List of abbreviations
ACC Accusative NML Nominalizer
CP Complementizer NOM Nominative
COP Copula PST Past
DAT Dative Q Question
FP Final Particle QT Quotation
LK Linking Nominal TOP Topic marker
NEG Negative
Akatsuka, Noriko. 1985. Conditionals and the epistemic scale. Language 61(3): 625639. DOI:
Bever, Tomas G. 1969. Te comprehension and memory of sentences with temporal relations.
Advances in Psycholinguistics, Giovanni B. Flores dArcais & Willem J.M. Levelt (eds), 285
293. Amsterdam: North Holland.
Bever, Tomas G. 1970. Te cognitive basis for linguistic structures. Cognition and the Develop-
ment of Language, John R. Hayes (ed.), 279263. New York NY: John Wiley.
Coulmas, Florian. 1985. Direct and indirect speech: General problems and problems of Japanese.
Journal of Pragmatics 9: 4163. DOI: 10.1016/0378-2166(85)90047-5
Davidson, Alice. 1979. Some mysteries of subordination. Studies in the Linguistic Science 9(1):
Du Bois, John. 1987. Te discourse basis of ergativity. Language 63: 80555. DOI: 10.2307/
Englebretson, Robert. 2003. Searching for Structure: Te Problem of Complementation in Collo-
quial Indonesian Conversation [Studies in Discourse and Grammar 13]. Amsterdam: John
Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/sidag.13
Fox, Barbara & Tompson, Sandra A. 1990. A discourse explanation of the grammar of relative
clauses. Language 66: 297316. DOI: 10.2307/414888
Subordination and information status
Frajzynger, Zygmunt. 1991. Te de dicto domain in language. In Approaches to Grammaticaliza-
tion, Vol. 1 [Typoloical Studies in Language 19(1)], Elizabeth Closs Traugott & Bernd Heine
(eds), 219251. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Givn, T. 1979. On Understanding Grammar. New York NY: Academic Press.
Givn, T. 1989. Mind, Code and Context: Essays in Pragmatics. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
Haiman, John. 1985. Natural Syntax: Iconicity and Erosion. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1075/tsl.6
Haiman, John & Tompson, Sandra A. 1984. Subordination in Universal Grammar. BLS 10:
Hayashi, Makoto. 1997. An exploration of sentence-fnal uses of the quotative particle in
Japanese spoken discourse. In Japanese/Korean Linguistics 6, Ho-Min Sohn & John Haig
(eds), 565581. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Hooper, Joan B. 1975. On assertive predicates. In Syntax and Semantics 4, John Kimball (ed.),
91124. New York NY: Academic Press.
Hopper, Paul. 1979. Aspect and foregrounding in discourse. Syntax and Semantics 12, T. Givn
(ed.), 213241. New York NY: Academic Press.
Ide, Sachiko, Ikuta, Shko, Kawasaki, Akiko, Hori, Motoko & Haga, Hitomi. 1984. Syuhu no
Issyuukan no Danwa Siryoo. Tokyo: Shuuei-shuppan.
Iwasaki, Shoichi. 1993. Subjectivity in Grammar and Discourse. Teoretical Considerations and
a Case Study of Japanese Spoken Discourse [Studies in Discourse and Grammar 2].
Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Iwasaki, Shoichi & Ono, Tsuyohi. 2002. Sentence in spontaneous spoken Japanese discourse. In
Complex Sentence in Grammar and Discourse: Essays in Honor of Sandra A. Tompson, Joan
L. Bybee & Michael Noonan (eds), 175202. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Kamada, Osamu. 1988. Nihongo no dentatsu hyoogen (Reportive expressions in Japanese).
Nihongogaku 7: 5972.
Karttunen, Lauri. 1971. Some observations on factivity. Papers in Linguistics 4: 5569. DOI:
Kuno, Susumu. 1973. Te Structure of the Japanese Language. Cambridge MA: Te MIT Press.
Kuno, Susumu. 1976. Subject raising. In Syntax and Semantics 5: Japanese Generative Grammar,
Masayoshi Shibatani (ed.), 1749. New York NY: Academic Press.
Lambrecht, Knud. 1994. Information Structure and Sentence Form. Cambridge: CUP. DOI:
Langacker, Ronald. 1991. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol II: Descriptive Applications.
Stanford CA: Stanford University Press.
Longacre, Robert E. 1976. Te discourse structure of the food narrative. In Society of Biblical
Literature: 1976 Seminar Papers, George W. MacRae (ed.), 235262. Missoula MO: Scholars
Masuoka, Takashi & Takubo, Yukinori. 1992. Kiso Nihongo Bunpoo. Tokyo: Kurosio.
Matsuda, Kenjir. 1998. On the conservatism of embedded clauses. Teoretical and Applied lin-
guistics at Kobe Shoin 1: 113.
Matthiessen, Christian M.I.M. & Tompson, Sandra A. 1988. Te structure of discourse and
subordination. In Clause Combining in Grammar and Discourse [Typological Studies in
Language 18], John Haiman & Sandra A. Tompson (eds), 275329. Amsterdam: John
| Naomi H. McGloin
Maynard, Senko. 1986. Te particle o and content-oriented indirect speech in Japanese written
discourse. In Direct and Indirect Speech, Florian Coulmas (ed.), 179200. Berlin: Mouton
de Gruyter. DOI: 10.1515/9783110871968.179
Maynard, Senko. 1996. Multivoicedness in speech and thought representation: Te case of self-
quotation in Japanese. Journal of Pragmatics 25: 207226. DOI: 10.1016/0378-
McCawley, Noriko Akatsuka. 1978. Another look at no, koto and to: Epistemology and comple-
mentizer choice in Japanese. In Problems in Japanese Syntax and Semantics, John Hinds &
Irwin Howard (eds), 178212. Tokyo: Kaitakusha.
McGloin, Naomi H. 1977. Te Speakers Attitude and the Conditionals to, tara and ba. Papers in
Japanese Linguistics 5:181191.
McGloin, Naomi H. 1999. Pragmatic and discourse functions of the rhetorical negative question
form, Zyanai desu ka. In Linguistics: In Search of the Human Mind, Masatake Muraki &
Enoch Iwamoto (eds), 452469. Tokyo: Kaitakusha
Minami, Fujio. 1974. Gendai-Nihongo no Koozoo (Structure of Modern Japanese). Tokyo:
Moriyama, Takuro. 2000. Koko kara hajimaru Nihongo bunpoo. Tokyo: Hitsuji-shobo.
Newmeyer, Frederick. 2003. Grammar is grammar and usage is usage. Language 79(4): 682707.
DOI: 10.1353/lan.2003.0260
Okamoto, Shigeko. 1995. Pragmaticization of meaning in some sentence-fnal particles in
Japanese. In Essays in Semantics and Pragmatics: In Honor of Charles J. Fillmore [Pragmatics
& Beyond New Series 32], Masayoshi Shibatani & Sandra A. Tompson (eds), 219246.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Okamoto, Shigeko & Ono, Tsuyoshi. 2008. Quotative tte in Japanese: Its multifaceted functions
and degrees of subordination. In Crosslinguistic Studies of Clause Combining: Te Multi-
functionality of Conjunctions [Typological Studies in Language Series 80], Ritva Laury (ed.),
205230. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Ono, Tsuyoshi & Tompson, Sandra A. 1996. Interaction and syntax in the structure of conver-
sational discourse: Collaboration, overlap, and syntactic dissociation. In Computational
and Conversational Discourse Burning IssuesAn Interdisciplinary Account, Eduard Hovy
& David W. Scott (eds), 6796. Berlin: Springer. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-03293-0_3
Prideaux, Gary D. 1993. Subordination and information distribution in oral and written narra-
tives. Pragmatics & Cognition 1(1): 5169. DOI: 10.1075/pc.1.1.05pri
Schleppegrell, Mary. 1992. Subordination and linguistic complexity. Discourse Processes 15(2):
117131. DOI: 10.1080/01638539209544804
Sunakawa, Yuriko. 1988. Inyoobun ni okeru ba no nijuusei ni tsuite (On the duality of place in
quotation). Nihongogaku 7: 1429.
Suzuki, Ryoko. 1999. Grammaticalization in Japanese: A Study of Pragmatic Particle-ization.
PhD dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara.
Suzuki, Satoko. 1997. Te relevance of factivity to complementizer choice in Japanese. Studies in
Language 21(2): 287311. DOI: 10.1075/sl.21.2.03suz
Suzuki, Satoko. 2001. De dicto complementation in Japanese. In Complementation: Cognitive
and Functional Perspectives [Converging Evidence in Language and Communication Re-
search 1], Kaoru Horie (ed.), 3357. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Tompson, Sandra A. 2002. Object complements and conversation: Towards a realistic ac-
count. Studies in Language 26(1): 125163. DOI: 10.1075/sl.26.1.05tho
Subordination and information status ,
Tompson, Sandra A. & Hopper, Paul. 2001. Transitivity, clause structure, and argument struc-
ture: Evidence from conversation. In Frequency and the Emergence of Linguistic Structure
[Typological Studies in Language 45], Joan L. Bybee & Paul Hopper (eds), 2760. Amster-
dam: John Benjamins.
Tompson, Sandra A. & Mulac, Anthony J. 1991. Te discourse conditions for the use of com-
plementizer that in conversational English. Journal of Pragmatics 15: 237251. DOI:
Tomlin, Russell. 1985. Foreground-background information and the syntax of subordination.
Text 5(12): 85122. DOI: 10.1515/text.1.1985.5.1-2.85
On state of mind and grammatical forms
from functional perspectives
Te case for Garu and Te-iru
Yuki Johnson
Te basic usages of the auxiliary verbs ~garu and ~(te)iru are generally
understood as expressing desire and thoughts other than those of the speaker
him/herself. A proposition accompanying~garu and ~(te)iru is ofen used with
a modal, such as mitai, rashii, etc.; therefore, it belongs to the territory of the
speaker domain. However, the proposition concerns another individuals feelings
that the speaker cannot perceive directly and is not an exclusive possession of
the speaker. Using real-life usages that incorporate the notion of territory of
information proposed by Kamio (1990) and the notion of empathy, by Kuno
(1998), it is found that issues of hierarchy and empathy are deeply intertwined
in their use in authentic communication and do not necessarily follow the
description of standard grammar.
1. Introduction
Te current tendency in language research is toward a usage-based approach that
emphasizes the importance of authentic utterances. Some practitioners of such an
approach believe that grammar itself carries little relation to the proposition-like
structures presented by formal linguists, who instead take the approach that sen-
tences are structured according to propositions, verbs with predicates, and noun
phrases with logical arguments. As described in Newmeyer (2003: 685), we rarely
utter sentences comprising a subject, an object, and a verb, even though that is
what grammars generate. Terefore, usage-based models argue that if real speech
is not propositional, then neither should grammars be.
In opposition to this premise, Newmeyer (2003) provides a variety of evidence
to support the idea that mental grammar contributes to language use, but that
usage does not necessarily refect the grammar itself. While acknowledging a
great disparity between sentences that grammars generate and a speakers actual
8 Yuki Johnson
utterances, Newmeyer defends the classical position with respect to the relation-
ship between knowledge of language and use of language and challenges that
speakers mentally represent full grammatical structure, however fragmentally
their utterances might be (2003: 682).
As claimed by Chomsky (1965), our oral performance may not be entirely reli-
able in order to derive linguistic principles and parameters as it can be mistake-
ridden, depending on the environment the speaker is in as well as the physical
condition of the speaker. Also, in oral performance in many languages of the world,
word order may become random to a certain degree depending on the mood of the
speaker and the content the speaker tries to convey. Japanese is no exception. A
native speaker of Japanese may utter a sentence with a verb at an initial position
when the speaker wants to quickly convey that s/he is going to Japan next year,
saying iku no, nihon e, rainen, atashi.
Tis type of utterance is ofen heard in oral
production, though it does not coincide with the grammatical word order of
Japanese as an SOV language or with the way people tend to express in writing.
It seems hasty to conclude that grammars should not be propositional based
exclusively on the instances of oral production, since our mental activity is not
only represented in oral communication but also in writing, which seems to re-
ceive less attention in a usage-based approach regardless of the fact that both
speaking and writing are productive skills. Unless a direct quote, a sentence such
as iku no, nihon e, rainen, atashi is seldom produced; instead, atashi, rainen nihon
e iku no may be considered an appropriate production in writing. Tus, it should
be understood that usage in oral communication is ultimately derived from the
same mental grammar as closely represented in written materials.
Tis article considers the disparity seen in current linguistic research, with spe-
cifc examination of spoken and written Japanese to uncover the nonsyntactic factors
that afect usage, taking two grammatical patterns garu and te-iru as particular
cases. Te examination is an attempt to bring together the respective grammar and
uses in a more comprehensive manner to bridge the gap between them. While the
points made by Newmeyer (2003) are pertinent, a suggestion here is that grammar
1. Te gloss of this sentence is:
Iku no, nihon e, rainen atashi.
Go-aux Japan loc next year I
I am going to Japan next year, Im telling you.
Grammatical abbreviations used in this article are: ACC accusative case; AUX auxiliary
(modal auxiliaries and auxiliary verbs); CNT contrastive marker; COMP sentential comple-
mentizer; COP copula; GEN genitive case; LOC locative case; NEG negative morpheme;
NOM nominative case; PART sentential particle; PASS passive afx; PST past tense afx;
PERF perfect afx; PROG progressive afx (te-iru can be used to express either PERF or
PROG); and TOP topic marker.
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives
and usage should not exhibit a complete disparity, but that grammar can be reexam-
ined and reviewed based on usages in order to communicate sensibly and compre-
hensibly, since both are afer all concerned with our mental activities.
Te data regarding the use of the auxiliary verbs, garu and te-iru were col-
lected from various sources, including day-to-day oral communications and writ-
ten documents (e-mail communication) gathered over the last two years. Also,
each collected sentence was verifed with native speakers of Japanese for its appro-
priateness to avoid single-handed intuitive judgment of the author. Whenever the
use of garu and te-iru were acknowledged in oral communication or pseudo-oral
in e-mail exchange (considering both formal and informal cas-
es), uttered sentences were recorded with a note that explains the situations in
which garu and te-iru were used. A total of 199 sentences were recorded and ex-
amined with regard to their use in oral communication, including 61 garu sen-
tences and 41 tai sentences (without the use of garu) and 97 te-iru sentences. Each
was compared with the formal descriptions of the use of garu and te-iru that ap-
pear in grammar reference books and language textbooks. Please refer to the data
in the appendix appearing at the end of the chapter.
2. Grammar and usage of garu and te-iru
2.1 Garu
In most language texts and reference books,
the auxiliary verb garu is explained
as a constituent that is used when describing a third individuals state of mind
(specifcally, desire) as opposed to the speakers own emotional state. Since one
cannot make a direct observation or participate in someone elses emotional state,
garu is attached as a grammatical device to the root of an adjective, expressing
meanings such as (someone/something) has the appearance of or (someone/
something) appears to be. For this reason, some textbooks explain that garu may
be replaced by the modal auxiliary (hereafer modal) soo (someone/something)
looks like. Also, garu alters the preceding predicate into a transitive verb: nomi-ta-
garu (someone) wants to drink (something) and hoshi-garu (someone) wants
(something) for example, expresses someones future or habitual state of mind. In
2. Tis type of communication is herein provisionally termed pseudo-oral, since in the case
of casual communication via e-mail, language is ofen employed as if talking to a person di-
rectly, rather than in actual formal letter writing.
3. Te books under examination are: Yookoso (Tohsaku, 1999), Genki (Nagano et al, 1999),
Nakama (Makino, Hatasa & Hatasa, 1998), Kiso Nihongo 2 (Morita, 1980), Japanese: Te Spoken
Language (JSL) (Jorden with Noda, 1987), and Te Dictionary of Japanese Grammar (Makino &
Tsutsui, 1989).
|o Yuki Johnson
order to express a current situation, te-iru, which converts garu into a stative pred-
icate, has to be attached. Please note the following examples.
(1) a. Boku wa atarashii kuruma ga hoshii.
I top new car nom want
I want a new car.
b. Uti no mono ga anata ni aitaga-gatte-(i)ru-n-desu.
my wife nom you dat meet-want-aux-perf-cop
My wife wants to meet you. (JSL: 135)
(2) a. Watashi wa sabishii-desu.
I top lonely-cop
I am lonely.
b. Hayashi san wa sabishi-gatte-imasu.
top lonely-aux-perf
Mr. Hayashi is lonely. (He appears to be lonely.)
(3) a. Watashi wa tempura ga tabe-tai-desu.
I top tempura nom eat-want-cop
I want to eat tempura.
b. Tanaka san wa gohan o tabe-ta-gatte-imasu.
top meal acc eat-want-aux-perf
Ms. Tanaka wants to eat meal. (Nakama: 409)
(4) a. Boku wa rainen nihon e iki
I top next year Japan loc go-want-cop
I want to go to Japan next year.

b. Boku no tomodachi wa rainen nihon e iki-ta-gatte-iru.
I gen friend top next year Japan loc go-want-aux-perf
My friend wants to go to Japan next year.
c. Boku no tomodachi wa rainen ninon e iki-tai.
I gen friend top next year Japan loc go-want
to itte-iru.
comp say-prog
My friend says, I want to go to Japan next year.
Considering the subject in each of the above sentences (other than watashi and
boku I), tsuma wife, Hayashi-san Mr. Hayashi, Tanaka-san Mr. Tanaka, boku no
4. In fact, the morpheme boundary should be shown as ik-i-tai want to go in which case a
consonant verb is used to indicate the stem of the verb ik-. However, in order to avoid having many
English glosses and due to limited space, the Japanese syllabary system is used to create a bound-
ary. Tis is the reason for the desiderative form tai follows iki-tai and tabe-tai in this paper.
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives |:
tomodachi my friend are all other individuals; therefore, garu should be employed
according to standard grammar.
However, as can be detected in the data (in the
appendix at the end of the article), it is noticeable that native speakers of Japanese
seldom utter these sentences and that the defnition someone has the appearance
of or someone appears to be does not ft particularly well for sentence (1b), while
it suits sentence (2b) well and (3b) marginally. Sentence (4b) is somewhat awk-
ward regardless of the reasonable-sounding English equivalent. It seems that the
sentence is conveying that the speakers desire will be realized in the next year,
rather than at the present time. Tis may be attributed to the use of the noun
rainen next year (that indicates a temporal distance from the current time) co-
occurring with the current state of mind described by ta-gatte-iru. If the situation
is described using sentence (4c), for example, the awkwardness is removed. Tus,
we realize that for some cases garu may not be appropriate even for describing
another individuals desire. Let us observe some more example sentences.
(5) Kodomo wa amai mono o tabe-ta-garu.
kid top sweet thing acc eat-want-aux
Kids want to eat sweets. (Kids love to eat sweets.)
(6) Uchi no ryooshin wa otooto o daigaku ni
my gen parents top brother acc university loc
ire-ta-gatte-iru kedo, otooto wa amerika e
enter-want-aux-perf but brother top America loc
ryuugaku shi-ta-gatte-iru-n-da yo nee.
study abroad-do-want-aux-perf-aux-cop part part
My parents want to let my younger brother go to college, but he wants to
go to America to study, you know.
(7) Cho san, Cheung san to kekkonshi-ta-gatte-(i)ru.
with marry-want-aux-perf
Ms. Cho wants to get married to Mr. Cheung.
(8) Suzuki buchoo, kaisha yame-ta-gatte-(i)ru.
section chief company resign-want-aux-perf
Section Chief Suzuki wants to quit the company.
5. Standard grammar here refers to explanations provided in elementary Japanese textbooks.
Tey normally provide a brief explanation and do not include detailed information on excep-
tional cases and pragmatic uses, but the most basic uses of the grammar pattern.
6. Sentences (5) and (6) are actual utterances drawn from the original data, while (7) to (9) are
modifed by the author for demonstration purposes. Modal auxiliaries, such as mitai looks like
and rashii seems like are removed from the original data for sentences (7) and (8), and a modal
soo looks like is replaced by (ta)-gatte-iru for sentence (9). Te original of sentences (7)(9) in
the data are exhibited in sentences (10)(12) that appear on the following page.
|i Yuki Johnson
(9) Sakai sensei wa nihon e kaeri-ta-gatte-iru.
professor top Japan loc return-want-aux-perf
Professor Sakai wants to go back to Japan.
Sentence (5) is acceptable as it describes a general tendency of kids tastes, not the
state of mind of a person with whom the speaker is personally involved. Many
people fnd sentence (6) also acceptable. Te speaker is referring to his/her own
family members desire, and the use of garu seems perfectly appropriate, as stan-
dard grammar suggests.
A problem may arise with regard to sentences (7)(9). Although they may be
found in written materials, such as a report or journal where the authors relation-
ship with the person in question is neutral, in day-to-day conversation, they may
not be uttered in this type of bare form.
Even in casual conversation and even
among young college students, speakers might avoid saying Sakai sensei, nihon e
kaeri-ta-gatte-(i)ru Professor Sakai wants to go back to Japan. Instead, as found in
the data, a sentence with one of the modals is more commonly used. Observe sen-
tences (10)(12), drawn from the original data.
(10) Cho san, Cheung san to kekkonshi-ta-gatte-(i)ru mitai yo.
with marry-want-aux-perf aux part
It looks like Ms. Cho wants to get married to Mr. Cheung, you know?
(11) Suzuki buchoo, kaisha yame-ta-gatte-(i)ru-rashii yo.
section chief company resign-want-aux-perf-aux part
I hear that Section Chief Suzuki wants to quit the company, you know.
(12) Sakai sensei, nihon e kaeri-tai-soo-da yo.
Professor Japan loc return-want-aux-cop part
I hear that Professor Sakai wants to go back to Japan.
Sentences (10)(12), accompanying a modal such as mitai, soo, rashii, or ~n-desu-
tte, are far more frequently uttered than sentences (7)(9). In fact, sentence (12) is
the case where garu does not accompany ta(i), but the use of the modal soo alone
can convey the desire of the third person as a propositional content.
Tese modals
are used to refer to visual or sensory evidence and indicate how a speaker obtained
the information (Johnson, 2004, 2008). Soo (also in the form of datte which is a
colloquial equivalent of ~ to kii-ta I heard) and rashii are primarily used when the
7. Bare form herein refers to sentences that do not accompany modal content, such as modal
auxiliaries and sentence fnal particles. Also, in the collected data, the sentences originally all
accompany some type of a modal, such as mitai appears to be and ~desu-tte I hear. Once the
modal is removed, the sentences are all identifed as awkward by native speakers of Japanese.
8. However, it is not that soo is replacing garu. Even if the sentence were to use garu, it may
have been accompanied by some type of a modal.
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives |
information is obtained via an outside source, such as hearing, reading, and mitai,
via the speakers visual impression, sensation, and/or supposition.
Te frequent
occurrence of these modals demonstrates that the use of garu may be grammati-
cally sufcient, but pragmatically insufcient to diferentiate other individuals
state of mind from the speakers own.
However, as seen in sentence (6), when a sentence is concerned with a family
member, a diferent concept may be employed. Tis observation suggests that the
distinction between the in- and out-group of a speaker may also play a crucial role
that is ultimately concerned with whether or not an emotional and spatio-tempo-
ral distance exists between the speaker and other individuals.
Before further examining the characteristics of this issue, let us explore the
behavior of another auxiliary verb (te)-iru which has a similar function to that
of garu.
2.2 Te-iru
Most textbooks explain that the use of te-iru is required for verbs of mental activi-
ties, such as omou to think, kangaeru to think, and shinjiru to believe, and when a
speaker tries to signal that the thoughts belong to someone other than the speaker
Te following are example sentences illustrating the use of omou.
9. Several other modals exist, including hazu, ni chigainai, daroo, kamoshire-nai, n(o)-da and
wake-da (Johnson, 2004). Te frst four function diferently from yoo/mitai, soo, and rashii in
that they express the degree of speaker conviction toward the truth or realization of the event
described in the proposition. For example, while Nihon e kaeri-ta-gatte-iru soo-da I hear that (s/
he) wants to go back to Japan means that the speaker tries to convey the proposition as true,
hearsay information, Nihon e kaeri-ta-gatte-iru kamoshire-nai It may be the case that (s/he)
wants to go back to Japan conveys that the speaker is not sure about the truth of the proposition.
Tese modals as well as n(o)-da and wake-da are not subject to examination in this paper. Te
diference between yoo and mitai is not discussed herein. However, mitai is considered an infor-
mal, colloquial equivalent of yoo (Makino & Tsutsui 1986, p.550), and the treatment of mitai
here does not go beyond this observation.
10. It should be mentioned, however, that omou can accompany te-iru when the speakers
thoughts are expressed e.g., Boku wa jibun ga tadashii to omotte-iru Ive been thinking that I
am right. Te diference between omou and omotte-iru used for the thoughts of the speaker
him/herself is that omou gives an impression that the speakers thoughts are grasped as a whole
equivalent to I think, while omotte-iru is ofen used to suggest a time expanse between the
time the speaker started to think and the time of speech equivalent to Im thinking/Ive been
thinking that ~. Such observation is supported by the use of an adverb that indicates a duration
of time, such as zutto for a long time. Zutto is awkward in co-occurring with omou, while it is
natural to co-occur with omotte-iru.
11. Te function of omou to think is two-fold, though sometimes difcult to identify a clear
distinction. One function is to express a speakers opinion, indicating this is what I think. In this
|| Yuki Johnson
(13) a. Watashi wa korosa
-re-ta hito no otto ga
I top kill-pass-pst person gen husband nom
hannin-da to omoimasu.
murderer-cop comp think
I think that the husband of the woman who was killed is the mur-
b. Watashi wa korosa-re-ta hito no otto ga
I top kill-pass-pst person gen husband nom
hannin-da to omotte-imasu.
murderer-cop comp think-prog
Im thinking that the husband of the woman who was killed is the
(14) *a. Otto wa hannin wa hoka ni iru to omou.
my husband top murderer cnt elsewhere loc exist comp think
My husband thinks that the murderer is someone other than he.
b. Otto wa hannin wa hoka ni
my husband top murderer cnt elsewhere loc
iru to omotte-iru.
exist comp think-perf
My husband thinks that the murderer is someone other than he.
(15) *a. Sun sensei wa josei ga satsujin ni kakawatte-iru
Professor top woman nom murder to relate-perf
to omoimasu.
comp think
Professor Sun thinks that a woman is involved in this murder.

b. Sun sensei wa josei ga satsujin ni
Professor top woman nom murder to
kakawatte-iru to omotte-imasu.
relate-perf comp think-perf
Professor Sun thinks that a woman is involved in this murder.
case, omou is ofen added to sofen the tone of the statement and avoid being too straightfor-
ward. Te other is to express a speakers supposition, behaving exactly as a modal, such as
kamoshirenai may be and daroo probably. Omou expresses a relatively high level of speaker
conviction regarding the truth or realization of the proposition. Such use of omou is not a sub-
ject of examination in this paper.
12. Please refer to footnote #5 for the reason why the morpheme boundary is inserted this way.
Technically, it should be koros-are-ta.
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives |,
As shown in the example sentences, omou to think is appropriate only when used
to describe the speakers own state of mind. Omou can refer to the speakers state
of mind at the time of speech, since the speaker can observe his/her inner feelings
without a monitor or an acquisition device. Omotte-iru thinking also refers to the
speakers state of mind, although te-iru implies and lets one envision a time span
specifcally, from the moment the speaker has decided who the criminal was up
to the time of speech.
Terefore, omotte-iru refers to the time expanse during
which the speaker has been thinking.
For other individuals state of mind, as seen in grammar explanation, only
omotte-iru may be employed. Tis is due to the fact that the speaker cannot ob-
serve another individuals mental activity internally at the time of speech, as oth-
ers thoughts do not directly belong to the speakers mind. In order to learn and
understand what is in another individuals mind, it requires a learning process and
time to acquire the thoughts, which in the end creates a spatio-temporal distance
between the speaker and the other individual. Tus, te-iru itself involves duration
of time to process the information, and only te-iru can be used to describe another
individuals state of mind.
Tis observation is perfectly applicable in sentence (14b) when the speakers
family members thought is in question. However, actual use of the language seems
to be a bit diferent when concerned with individuals who have distance from the
speaker in terms of social rankings. For example, sentence (15b) is a grammatical
sentence with the appropriate use of te-iru. Nonetheless, most native speakers of
Japanese claim that this kind of sentence sounds strange and is seldom uttered,
unless as a reportive-style narrative. Sentence (15b) may sound like a public an-
nouncement. Or, in this case, if omotte-imasu is thinking is used without accom-
panying any element, the speaker appears to be either very close to the individual
or acting as a spokesman. In natural communication, the sentence does not end
with te-iru but with some type of a modal. Please observe example sentences (16):
(16) a. Sun sensei wa josei ga satsujin ni kakawatte-iru to
professor top woman nom murder to related-perf comp
I hear that Dr. Sun thinks that a woman is involved in this murder.
b. Nara sensei wa otto ga yat-ta tte
professor top husband nom murder-pst comp
shinjite-(i)ru mitai.
Believe-perf aux
It looks like Professor Nara believes that the husband is the murderer.
13. For further explanation of te-iru, please refer to Johnson (2004).
|o Yuki Johnson
c. Lee sensei wa otto wa mujitsu-da-tte
professor top husband cnt innocent-cop-comp
I heard that Professor Lee thinks that the husband is innocent.
A common feature seen in the attachment of a modal as a device is to exhibit a
certain relationship between the speaker and the individual in question. By attach-
ing a modal -tte (a semantic equivalent to hearsay soo), for example, the speaker
makes it clear that s/he cannot directly perceive the other individuals mind, but
the information was somehow obtained through some unspecifed method.
Compared to this phenomenon, when the speaker represents his/her family
members thoughts, the use of a modal may become somewhat loose. Te speaker
may convey her husbands thoughts as if they belong to the speaker herself. Tis
can be extended to people whom the speaker thinks very close as family mem-
bers and the use of a modal becomes the personal preference. However, the point
here is that the speaker can represent a family members thoughts without any
device simply omotte-iru is acceptable.
2.3 Te commonality of garu and te-iru
We have seen a common characteristic in the use of garu and te-iru. Tat is, it is
not necessarily that garu and te-iru ought to be used when desire and thoughts
belong to someone other than the speaker him/herself. While grammatical, the
use of garu and te-iru is not sufcient to describe the situation through the eyes of
the speaker. Speakers tend to use extra devices to convey the information in actual
communication, namely the use of a modal, such as yoo, soo, and rashii. Whether
or not the device is needed seems to depend on the relationship between the
speaker and the referent i.e., whether the speaker considers the referent to be-
long to the speakers group, mentally, emotionally, and socially.
3. Teoretical justifcation
Considering all aspects, the phenomenon mentioned in the previous section can
be explained from the concept of point-of-view which Kuno (1997) discusses
under the framework of empathy perspective. According to Kuno, empathy is the
speakers identifcation, which may vary in degree, with a person/thing that par-
ticipates in the event or state that he describes in a sentence (1997: 206). A high
degree of empathy signifes the speakers total identifcation with the person in
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives |
question, and a low degree of empathy signifes the lack of identifcation with the
person in question. Although the concept of empathy discussed by Kuno covers a
much broader range of phenomena, the concept of in- and out-group is in part
integrated in the notion of empathy.
Individuals of the in-group are those to whom the speaker can emotionally
relate and think that the speaker can represent their thoughts or feelings from his
viewpoint and perspectives. Individuals of the out-group are those whom the
speaker identifes at a distance, mentally, emotionally, and spatio-temporally.
Te speaker may not dare to represent their thoughts or feelings as if they belong
to the speaker him/herself.
Ten, how can this phenomenon be justifed in terms of linguistic theory? Part
of a Teory of Territory of Information proposed by Kamio (1990) helps to clari-
fy this inquiry.
Kamios (1990, 1994, 1997a, 1997b) theory of territory of information argues
that language use depends on the territory to which information described by a
sentence belongs. In this theory, whether or not a speaker/interlocutor possesses
a given piece of information (i.e., whether s/he knows it or not) is clearly distin-
guished from whether a piece of information belongs to his/her territory. Kamio
used the terms direct form and non-direct form for such distinction. He hy-
pothesized that the direct form is used when the speaker has adequate evidence
for an assertion and is appropriate when the information the form expresses is
deep within the speakers territory of the information, whereas the non-direct
form is used when the speakers evidence is insufcient and is appropriate when
the information falls less deeply within the speakers territory or even outside it
(1997: 146).

In short, direct form signals that the piece of information is dominated
by the speaker, while the non-direct form does not create such an implication.
Please observe sentences (17) and (18) which represent the direct and non-direct
form, respectively.
(17) Toronto no natsu wa totemo atsui-desu.
gen summer top very hot-cop
Summer in Toronto is very hot.
(18) Toronto no natsu wa totemo atsui rashii-desu.
gen summer top very hot aux-cop
I hear that summer in Toronto is very hot.
In sentence (17), the speaker possesses the piece of information and can legiti-
mately use the direct-form to represent the information regarding Torontos weath-
er. If the speaker does not possess such information, the speaker cannot use the
direct-form to convey the information, but must use a sentence ending with a form
|8 Yuki Johnson
that signals that the information does not belong to his/her territory. Tis case is
exemplifed by sentence (18). Tis distinction also corresponds to propositional
content and modal content. An exclusive piece of information that the speaker pos-
sesses is represented in a proposition while the fact that the speaker does not pos-
sess the information is represented by the use of a modal following a proposition.
Kamio (1997a, 1997b) also states that since the direct form a proposition
carries in part the notion that the information is dominated by the speaker, it gen-
erally creates a rather arrogant atmosphere which is not well accepted in society.
Speakers try to adopt various devices to avoid creating such connotation by using
modal auxiliaries, such as deshoo, mitai, yoo, rashii and sentence fnal particles.
When examining garu and te-iru sentences in terms of the dichotomy of prop-
ositional content and modal content, we realize that both types of sentences are
propositions, which means that, based on Kamios theory, the sentences describing
another individuals state of mind exclusively belong to the speaker. Please observe
examples (19) and (20).
(19) a. Otooto wa sony no furatto terebi o kai-ta-gatte-iru.
my brother top sony gen fat tv acc buy-want-aux-perf
My brother wants to buy a Sony fat TV.
b. Sensei wa sony no furatto terebi o kai-ta-gatte-iru.
teacher top sony gen fat tv acc buy-want-aux-perf
Our teacher wants to buy a Sony fat TV.
(20) a. Otooto wa terebi wa sonii ga ichiban ii to omotte-iru.
my brother top tv cnt Sony nom best comp think-perf
My brother thinks that Sony is the best kind of TV.
b. Sensei wa terebi wa sonii ga ichiban ii to omotte-iru.
teacher top tv cnt Sony nom best comp think-perf
Our teacher thinks that Sony is the best kind of TV.
Sentences in (19) and (20) are all propositions, and the information is supposed to
be dominated by the speaker. However, the content is concerned with another in-
dividuals state of mind. An apprehensive feeling regarding the use of propositions
like (19b) and (20b) must be created by the confict between the type of the sen-
tence and the content of the proposition, and the speaker is urged to use a device
to remove this confict namely, modal auxiliaries.
On the other hand, the apprehensive feeling may not occur when the speaker
refers to his/her own family members state of mind, which shows that interper-
sonal and intercommunity relationship plays a crucial role. Here, we see some
commonality between the territory of information perspective and the empathy
perspective demonstrating that the notion of empathy and in-group and
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives |
out-group are deeply related to each other and frmly rooted in the Japanese mind.
Who belongs to the in- or out- depends on the speakers relationship with the
individual, but social hierarchy also determines the language use.
Tis statement in itself is nothing new. However, close examination of the
use of garu and te-iru is another testimonial to the aptness of the acknowledged
Te following is a rough visualization of the examinations of garu and te-iru
herein presented with some representative examples.
Garu and te-iru are grammatical constituents that are used to describe a state
of mind that belongs to an individual other than the speaker. For elementary to
intermediate-level learners, this broad description should be sufcient. Nonethe-
less, actual use of these constituents is, in fact, more complicated, involving
concepts that are crucial to the individuals who speak the language namely the
concepts of in-group and out-group intertwined with the concept of empathy
perspective. Individuals whom the speaker considers in-group are those to whom
the speaker is strongly attached in terms of empathy (an understanding and feel-
ing of connectedness), while individuals whom the speaker considers out-group
are those with whom the speaker fnds a lack of identifcation. Te use of garu and
te-iru alone is ofen seen to describe the state of mind belonging to individuals of
the in-group. On the other hand, for individuals of the out-group, in order to
avoid the seeming domination of their state of mind, additional devices, such as a
modal, are frequently employed.
Tabe-tai rashii
-iru soo-da
to omotte-iru
to omotte-iru
Degree of empathy
High to low
to omou
to omotte-iru
Figure 1.
,o Yuki Johnson
4. Concluding remarks
Tis article examines the description of standard grammar and the actual use of
the auxiliary verbs garu and te-iru, bringing together the respective grammar and
usages in a more comprehensive manner to bridge the gap between them.
Although the basic usages of garu and te-iru are to express desire and thoughts
other than those of the speaker him/herself, it is found that issues of hierarchy and
empathy are deeply intertwined in their use in authentic communication and do
not necessarily follow the standard grammar. Even for a second or third person,
they may not be used alone without accompanying a modal, such as mitai, soo, or
rashii. Furthermore, garu and te-iru both fall in the domain of proposition struc-
turally; therefore, they belong to the territory of the speaker domain, but not quite
as an exclusive possession of the speaker due to the nature of the information
that is, another individuals feelings and thoughts which the speaker cannot per-
ceive directly.
Tus, starting from the basic description of garu and te-iru, this work extends
the discussion to include real-life usages incorporating the notion of the territory
of information proposed by Kamio (1990) so that their functions are more accu-
rately described and understood.
Observing the actual use of language is crucial to understanding how we
think and process information. Just as crucial is to incorporate the actual use of
language into existing grammars to reveal the appropriateness or insufciency
found therein. Te statement made by Newmeyer (2003) that grammar is gram-
mar and usage is usage is agreeable. However, having these two perspectives and
familiarizing ourselves with the kind of discourse factors that interact with syn-
tax, we can attain an important merit that is to protect us from making a narrow
syntactic generalization.
Te results indicate that the formal description of these grammatical patterns
does not precisely refect their use, but provides merely a basic description of
their functions. Te results thus fll a gap between the formal description of gram-
mar and the actual use of these grammatical patterns derived from actual use of
the language.
14. Te fndings of the research done for these grammatical items are well incorporated in the
Fundamentals of Japanese Grammar (Johnson, forthcoming).
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives ,:
Garu + Modal (a total of 61 sentences)
Modal In-group Out-group Total
3 (60%) 2 (40%) 5
-ta-gatte-iru-n-desu-tte/dat-te 3 (12%) 21 (87.5%) 24
-ta-gatte-iru soo 1 (7.6%) 12 (92.3%) 13
-ta-gatte-iru mitai 4 (44.4%) 5 (55.5%) 9
-ta-gatte-iru rashii 0 3 (100%) 3
-ta-gatte-iru tte itte-ta-yo 0 3 (100%) 3
-ta-gatte-iru tte kii-ta 0 3 (100%) 3
-ta-gatte-iru yoo 0 2 (100%) 2
Total 11 (18%) 50 (82%) 61
In-Group means that the speaker refers to a desire of a person who is considered to belong to the
speakers group conceptually.
Out-Group means the opposite of in-group.
E.g.: Nihonjin tte gaikoku ni kite-mo, suguni nihonshoku tabe-ta-garu yo ne. When Japanese come to a
foreign country, they immediately want to eat Japanese food, dont they?
Tai + Modal (a total of 41 sentences)
Cases where the use of garu is avoided and a modal may be added
Modal In-Group Out-Group Total
7 (100%) 0 7
-tai-n-desu-tte/dat-te 0 10 (100%) 10
-tai soo 2 (28.5%) 5 (71.5%) 7
-tai mitai 4 (30.7%) 9 (69.3%) 13
-tai rashii 0 4 (100%) 4
Total 13 (31.7%) 28 (68.3%) 41
E.g.: Ano hito wa ne, kirei na hito to kekkonshi-tai no. My brother wants to get married to a pretty
Te-iru (a total of 97 sentences)
Modal In-group Out-group Total
4 (66.6%) 2 (33.4%) 6
-te-iru mitai 13 (35.1%) 24 (64.9%) 37
-te-iru-n-desu-tte/da-tte 1 (5.5%) 21 (95.5%) 22
-te-iru soo 0 16 (100%) 16
-te-iru rashii 0 8 (100%) 8
-te-iru-tte itte-ta-yo 0 4 (100%) 4
-te-iru yoo 1 (25%) 3 (75%) 4
Total 19 (19.5%) 78 (80.5%) 97
,i Yuki Johnson
Samples 1, 2, and 3 are partial conversations/utterances recorded in casual daily
[Sample 1]
Te following sample exhibits a case where both yame-ta-gatte-iru wants to quit
and yame-tai wants to quit accompany a modal. Te communication is exchanged
between a 29 year-old male and a 32 year-old female who work at a Japanese mo-
tor company in Tokyo.
A: Suzuki buchoo, kaisha, yame-ta-gatte-(i)ru-rashii yo.
section chief company resign-want-aux-perf-aux part
I hear that Section Chief Suzuki wants to quit the company, you
B: Un, atashi mo uwasa kii-ta. Yame-tai-mitai ne.
Yes I too rumor hear-pst quit-want-aux part
Yes, I heard the rumor too. It looks like he wants to quit. I feel bad for
[Sample 2]
Te following sample is one of the cases where a 35 year-old female in Tokyo talks
about her own mothers thoughts without using any modals.
A: Uchi no haha sa, Ken no koto seijitsu-da to
my gen mother part gen about sincere-cop comp
omotte-(i)ru kara, shinpai ira-nai yo.
think-perf so worry need-neg part
Since my mother thinks that Ken is sincere, there is no need to worry.
[Sample 3]
Te following sample is a case where a Japanese male college student in Toronto
makes a declarative statement regarding a thought of his professor. It was uttered
in a very casual situation where three other students were talking about the grade
they received.
A: Ano sensei, ore no koto zettai ni baka-da to omotte-(i)ru.
that teacher I gen about defnitely stupid-cop comp think-perf
Tat teacher defnitely thinks that I am stupid.
On state of mind and grammatical forms from functional perspectives ,
Chomsky, Noam. 1965. Teories of Syntax. Te Hague: Mouton.
Johnson, Yuki. 2004. Modality and the Japanese Language. Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan
Center for Japanese Studies Publication Program.
Johnson, Yuki. 2008. Fundamentals of Japanese Grammar. Hawaii HI: University of Hawaii
Jorden, Elinor Harz & Noda, Mari. 1987. Japanese: Te Spoken Language, Part I. New Haven CT:
Yale University Press.
Kamio, Akio. 1990. Joohoo no Nawabari Riron. Tokyo: Taishukan.
Kamio, Akio. 1994. Te theory of territory of information: Te case of Japanese. Journal of Prag-
matics 21: 67100. DOI: 10.1016/0378-2166(94)90047-7
Kamio, Akio. 1997a. Evidentiality and some discourse characteristics in Japanese. In Directions
in Functional Linguistics [Studies in Language Companion Series 36], Akio Kamio (ed.),
145171. Amsterdam: Johns Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/slcs.36
Kamio, Akio. 1997b. Teory of Territory of Information [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 48].
Amsterdam: Johns Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/pbns.48
Kuno, Susumu. 1997. Functional Syntax. Chicago IL: Chicago University Press.
Makino, Seichi, Hatasa, Yukiko Abe & Hatasa, Kazumi. 1998. Nakama I. New York NY: Houghton
Makino, Seichi & Tsutsui, Michio. 1989. A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. Tokyo: Japan
Morita, Yoshiyuki. 1980. Kiso Nihongo 2. Tokyo: Taishukan.
Nagai, Y., et al. 1999. Genki I. Tokyo: Japan Times.
Newmeyer, Frederick. 2003. Grammar is grammar and usage is usage. Language 79: 682707.
DOI: 10.1353/lan.2003.0260
Tohsaku, Yasu-Hiko. 1999. Yookoso, 2nd edn. New York NY: McGraw-Hill College.
Grammar of the internal expressive
sentences in Japanese
Observations and explorations
Shoichi Iwasaki
Internal expressive sentences such as a! itai Oh, it hurts, or aa yokatta Oh,
Im so happy!, reveal directly what the speaker perceives or senses internally,
and contrast sharply with descriptive sentences, such as taroo wa kuma o
uchitometa Taro shot the bear. Tis distinction has been noted in both Japanese
and European languages but has not received much attention in linguistics in
general. Tis paper explores this neglected type of sentence in terms of their
morphosyntactic patterns (co-occurrence with outcry vocalization, such as a!,
aa, waa, restricted predicate forms, the clipped adjective form, and inability to
code an experiencer), semantic primitives labeled as Experience, Stimulus and
Receptor, and extralinguistic factors based on neurological states of perception,
emotion and feeling.
A group of Japanese sentences can be identifed formally by their co-occurrence
possibility with a short outcry vocalization such as a!, aa, or waa, as shown in (1).
(1) a! itai! Ouch!
aa yokatta! Oh, Im so glad!
waa ureshii! Oh, Im so happy!
a! sakana ga shinderu! Oh! A dead fsh!
(cf. * a! kono sakana ga shinderu! Oh! Tis fsh is dead!)
(cf. * a! aru sakana wa sora o toberu! Oh! Some fsh can fy!)
Tese sentences refer to and reveal directly what the speaker perceives or senses
internally, and contrast sharply with descriptive sentences, such as taroo wa kuma
o uchitometa (Taro shot the bear). In this paper, the type of sentences presented in
(1) are referred to as internal expressive sentences (or simply expressive sentenc-
es). Some types of internal expressive sentences have been identifed as Ausdruck
,o Shoichi Iwasaki
(expressions) by Bhler 1933,
hyooshutu (revelations) by Sakuma (1967), and
kantan-bun (exclamatory sentences) by Onoe (2001: 168178). Tese categories
constitute a subset of what some other authors call afective or emotive expres-
sions (e.g. Besnier 1990; Maynard 2000, 2002).
Traditionally the internal expressive
sentence constitutes part of the minor sentence type along with the impricative
(curse) and optative (Sadock & Zwicky 1985: 1625), and is contrasted with the
major sentence type of the declarative, interrogative and imperative sentences
(Lyons 1977: 745). Linguists mainly concern themselves with the major sentence
types, especially the proposition-making function of the declarative sentences, and
have paid little attention to the other type of sentences including expressive sen-
tences (see relevant comments, among others, in Mio, 2003: 66 [1948], Lyons 1982;
Maynard 2000, 2002, 2007, and Linell 2005: 878). Tis paper, thus, tires to give
due attention to this neglected sentence type, and attempts to provide a framework
to analyze their specifc grammatical patterns. It also proposes that a distinct set of
grammatical patterns found for expressive sentences constitutes a separate system
within a multi-layered grammatical organization of a human language. It should be
noted, however, that much of the discussion presented here is of explorative nature
based on my own observations. Nonetheless, I believe this is a necessary step to-
wards future developments of the neglected area in linguistics.
Te following text is presented in six sections. Section One gives a brief sum-
mary of treatments of expressive sentences in the Japanese scholarship. Section
Two frst contrasts the expressive sentence with the more familiar type of descrip-
tive sentence, then discusses distinct features of the former, and fnally proposes
three semantic primitives necessary for an analysis of expressive sentences. Section
Tree explores the possibility of analyzing expressive sentences in terms of non-
linguistic factors, namely various neurological processes, and delineates grammat-
ical patterns associated with them. Section Four briefy discusses the descriptive
sentence in relation to the expressive sentence, in order to understand the continu-
ous nature between expressive and descriptive sentences. Section Five summarizes
the paper. Section Six discusses a theoretical implication of the current study and
diferent methodologies which may be used to analyze the expressive sentence.
1. See Bednarek (2006) and Innis (1982) for Bhlers theory of linguistics known as the
Organon Model.
2. Maynards emotives (2000, 2002) include a wide range of linguistic phenomena, such as
linguistic devices that describe emotions, linguistic strategies that enact emotional attitude, and
grammatical and rhetorical means which foreground emotive meanings. Other linguists who
have recognized expressive functions in language include Bally (1965 [1925]), Jakobson (1960),
Dong (1971), Lyons (1977: 5056), Ochs & Schiefelin (1989), and Dane (1994).
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese ,
1. Japanese scholarship on the internal expressive sentence
Traditional Japanese linguists have shown some interest in expressive and other
related sentences. However, their analyses are not always without difculties. One
common difculty is the strict formal means to identify these sentences. Yamada
(1936: 9356), for example, categorizes a sentence as the kandoo-kantai impres-
sion-expressive style (one type of our expressive sentence) when it takes the form
of vocative expression:
[Modifer Noun (Vocative Particle)]

beautiful fower Vocative Particle
(What) a beautiful fower!.

Tis strict structural defnition, however, assigns a diferent interpretation to two
functionally similar sentences; the sentence; waa! kiree na hana! (wow beautiful
fower) and waa! kono hana kiree! (wow this fower beautiful), though both
have a similar emotive force, must be classifed as completely diferent sentence
types based upon constituent order, frst being a sentence of kandoo-kantai im-
pression-expressive style (our expressive sentence) and the second being a sentence
of juttai subject-predicate sentence (our descriptive sentence) (see Morishige
1971: 257).
Matsushita (1978 [1930]), in his philosophical discussion of sentence types,
identifes the sentences of non-conceptual and conceptual subjective judgment as
well as the sentence of deliberate judgment. Upon feeling a tremor, a speaker may
issue the non-linguistic outcry, a! (a sign of non-conceptual subjective judgment)
or describe it with a one-word expression, jishin! Earthquake! (a sentence of con-
ceptual subjective judgment). However, when jishin is followed by the copula,
jishin da (Its an earthquake!), the sentence is understood to be a sentence of de-
scription, implying deliberate judgment, rather than simply as expressive. Tis is
because, according to Matsushita, it can be related to a more fully specifed and
logically constructed sentence, kore wa jishin da (this is an earthquake). However,
jishin da may in fact be uttered as a response to ones own perception, and in this
case, it is a full, non-abbreviated sentence. Tis type of subjectless sentence is a
hallmark of expressive sentences.
3. In addition to kandoo-kantai, Yamada identifes kiboo-kantai (the optative style), which
takes the form of [NP] + [Optative Particle] with the meaning of I wish for (Noun), e.g. [oizu
shinazu no kusuri] + [moga] How I wish for medicine of longevity and immortality! (Yamada
1954 [1936]: 949). Te optative style can be found in Classical Japanese, but went out of use
alongside the optative particles, such as moga(na). Te optative style and optative particles are
absent from Modern Japanese.
,8 Shoichi Iwasaki
Mio (2003: 66 [1948]) improves on the form-based identifcation of sentence
types by bringing in contextual information in the classifcation of sentence types.
In his analysis, the same surface form may be analyzed diferently, depending on
its relation to the situation of its utterance. For example, in Mios view, jishin da
(earthquake COP) (Earthquake!) could be an underdeveloped sentence (mitenkai-
bun) in the case where a speaker utters it before analyzing the situation, as it de-
picts the speakers surprise at that moment. Alternatively, it may be a partial sen-
tence (bunsetu-bun) when it refers to a part of the complete idea for the situation,
as in the utterance kore wa jishin da (this is an earthquake). Tis analysis can avoid
the problem noted above with respect to Matsushitas analysis. As Mio himself
admits, however, the category of underdeveloped sentences is problematic as it
includes both what Sakuma calls the revelation type (hyooshutsu) which exposes
the speakers inner emotional or cognitive state through such expressions as a!
(oh!), ame da! (its raining!), and the appeal type (uttae) which tries to get others
attention. Te latter category is exemplifed by utterances such as hora! (look!) and
kimi! (you!) (Sakuma 1952: 467)
Te analysis of expressive sentences presented in this paper expands upon
Mios analysis, by identifying true expressive sentences on the basis of the nature
of what is expressed (i.e. speakers internal, more specifcally their neurological
state) and how it is intended in the process of communication (i.e. not primarily
intended for communication).
2. Te nature of the internal expressive sentence
Tis section outlines the characteristics of expressive sentences as opposed to de-
scription sentence and propose three unique semantic primitives that are relevant
for analysis of expressive sentences.
2.1 Expressive and descriptive sentences
Te internal expressive sentence can be sharply contrasted with the descriptive
sentence. Te distinction corresponds to that between mode pur (the intellectual
mode) and mode vcu (the afective mode) of Bally (1965[1925]). As Maynard
(2002: 26) explains, in expressing the speakers emotional attitude, mode pur ofers
its description, producing a report of ones inner sensations, as in I am getting mad.
Mode vcu, on the other hand, enacts a live performance of the sensation, as in
4. Tese terms are Sakumas translation of Bhlers Ausdruck and Appel (1934), see also Innis
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese ,
Damn it! Te descriptive sentence can be divided into external descriptive and
internal descriptive sentences. Te external descriptive sentence is a familiar type
of sentence which depicts a situation (an event, state, process, relation, or quality)
that is actually or potentially observable, or objectively verifable, in the external
world (Mary stood up her date, Te boy is growing up, John and I are friends,
Te window is broken. John is tall). Consider the Japanese examples below:
External descriptive
taroo ga kinoo te o kegashita Taro hurt his hand yesterday..
(name) nom yesterday hand acc hurt:past
hanako wa me ga kiree da Hanako has beautiful eyes.
(name) top eye nom beautiful cop
kono suupu wa karai Tis soup is spicy.
this soup top spicy
On the other hand, the internal descriptive sentence describes situations that are
internal to a person and are not directly observable or, in principle, not verifable
from outside. Tis includes mental processes, physical and emotional conditions,
knowledge, and belief, among others (We expect John to win the race, Kim is
angry at Jims sister, It strikes me that John is insincere, I had a bad headache
yesterday). See below for Japanese examples of this type of sentence:
(3) Internal descriptive
taroo ga hannin da to omou (I) think Taro is the culprit.
(name) nom culprit cop qt think:nonpast
koko ga itai-n da yo It hurts here, you see.
here nom painful-se cop pp
hara hetteta-n desu yo (I) was hungry, you know.
stomach decrease:past:asp-se cop pp
suki yo (I) love (you), you know.
like PP
In contrast, internal expressive sentences do not describe, but performs. English
expressive sentences include; Oh, it hurts!, Boy, is he dumb!, and What a beauti-
ful fower!. Notice these sentences exhibit an unconventional use of present tense
form (hurts), word order, and verb-less structure. Japanese expressive sentences
also show distinctive characteristics as discussed shortly, but frst examine some
5. Te abbreviations used in this paper are: ACC = accusative marker, ASP = aspect, COP =
copula, EXC = exclamation, NOM = nominative marker, NONPAST = non-past, PAST = past,
PP = pragmatic particle, QT = quotative, SE = sentence extender, TOP = topic marker.
oo Shoichi Iwasaki
(4) Internal expressive (see also (1) above)
a! karai! Oh! its hot!
exc spicy
a! kono suupu karai! Oh, this soup is so hot!
exc this soup spicy
a! sakana ga shinde-ru. Oh, a fsh is dead!
exc fsh nom die-asp:nonpast
aa atama ga itai. Oh, I have a headache!
exc head painful
waa. kireena hana. Wow, what a beautiful fower!
exc beautiful fower
As I mentioned at the outset, the expressive sentence is defned by its co-occurring
possibility with a short outcry vocalization such as a!, aa, or waa. In addition to
this, there are other formal characteristics. First, internal expressive sentences can-
not co-occur with the past tense. Tey are ofen appear in the present tense form
(e.g., a karai! Oh, hot! expressing the current experience). When they appear
with the past tense form of an adjective, it has to be interpreted as Perfect (e.g., aa
karakatta Oh, (that) was hot! expressing the experience of the immediate lin-
gering experience), not as Past (*a!/aa kinoo karakatta! Oh, (that) was spicy yes-
terday is not possible.) Tis tense/aspect restriction is a consequence of expressive
sentences being temporally deictic. Second, some of the internal expressive sen-
tences show peculiar morphological contrast between speakers own and others
experience; the form itai painful can be used only for the speakers sensation (ex-
pressive sentences), but has to be modalized for someone elses pain (descriptive
sentence), e.g. ita-soo-da appears to be painful and itagatte iru acting as if pain-
ful. In other words, internal expressive sentences are completely egocentric ex-
pressions that reveal internal experiences of the speaker. Tird, although internal
expressive sentences always involve an experiencer, or a human who undergoes an
internal situation, they never code it expressively (*a! boku ga itai! Oh, I am in
pain); it can only be indexed indirectly through the act of exclamation. Tis is a
crucial diference between the internal expressive sentence, e.g., a! itai! (Ouch!
lit. Painful!), and the internal descriptive sentence, boku mo atama ga itai (I also
have an headache).
Before leaving this section, it is pertinent to mention one other important
characteristic of the expressive sentence; its lack of communication intent. Te
speaker of true internal expressive sentences such as itai! (Ouch!) does not have
an intention to communicate. Tis means that these sentences are sub-vocal, or
inner-speech (Vigotsky 1962) in nature. Once uttered, however, people around
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese o:
may respond with, for example, daijoobu? (Are you OK?). Also a speaker may
imitate an internal expressive sentence strategically to perform indirect speech-
acts; they may say urusai! (lit. Its loud!) to make someone turn of the loud mu-
sic. In fact, it is not always easy to separate a true internal expressive sentence
and its strategic use. Tis is due to the more general problem of indirect speech-
acts, or a general lack of one-to-one correspondence between the form and the
speech-act it performs (e.g., Lyons 1977: 745; Irvine 1982; Levinson 1983:
263264; Palmer 1986: 2325).
Bednarek, in her critical review of Bhlers
Organon Model, notes, it is not clear to what extent means of Ausdruck are em-
ployed intentionally or subconsciously and to what extent they are conventional-
ized (2006: 146). In this paper the perfomative use of internal expressive sen-
tences will not be discussed further. Te communicative function in language is,
of course, crucial for understanding many aspects of language, but it is possible
that it may be separated from other functions. Internal expressive sentences in
their purest form represent a clear example of non-communication language. As
will be discussed later, descriptive sentences can be also used with or without
communicative intent.
2.2 Tree semantic primitives of an expressive sentence
Descriptive sentences have been traditionally analyzed into a predicate and noun
phrases with semantic roles such as Experiencer Agent, Patient, Teme, and
Instrument. Internal expressive sentences cannot be meaningfully analyzed by
these terms as many of them consist of one word. For an expressive sentence that
consists of two terms, a noun and a verb/adjective, the traditional analysis can be
performed, but will not capture the special nature of expressive sentences; the
descriptive sentence neko ga sakana o tabeteiru the cat is eating the fsh and the
expressive sentence a! neko ga sakana o tabeteru! Oh, a cat is eating a fsh! cannot
be distinguished according to the traditional analysis. I propose in this paper,
therefore, three entirely diferent semantic primitives; Experience, Stimulus,
and Receptor. Tese semantic primitives have been extracted by observing what
type of information appears when an expression contains only one word. In addi-
tion, they have been deduced by our general knowledge of neurological experi-
ences. Sato (2004: 87), for example, describes how humans interpret external
stimulus as follows:
6. Gofman (1983: 78123) maintains that response cries including pain cries have com-
municative intent.
oi Shoichi Iwasaki
Information contained in the stimulus from external world enters the nervous
system through sensory organs such as eyes, ears, skin, tongue, and nose. Te
external information which goes through the sensory organs will be analyzed into
temporal-spacio patterns in terms of impulse that the nervous system can use.
Ten the nervous system analyzes the pattern of impulse into numerous steps and
processes them hierarchically in order to recreate the external image. (translated
and emphasis added by SI)
Experience is the recreated image, or the quality of the internal situation that the
experiencer is currently undergoing, e.g. perception, emotion, or feeling. Stimulus
is something that causes a particular experience. Receptor is a location through
or at which an experience is registered. Tese three primitives appear diferently in
the linguistic expression depending on the exact type of internal situation that is
being expressed.
2.3 Interim summary
Te purpose of the preliminary sections above was to separate expressive sen-
tences from descriptive sentences, and identify their features for further analyses.
Expressive sentences in Japanese are formally characterized by possibility of co-
occurrence with outcry vocalization, use of non-modal form, present tense form,
Perfect aspect form, and inability to code an experiencer. Functionally, they are
sentences of the afective mode (mode vcu) and difer signifcantly from sen-
tences of the intellectual mode (mode pur). Tey reveal speakers internal experi-
ences, such as perception, emotion, and feeling, at the time of the utterance. Tey
are not intended for communication, at least in principle. I suggested three seman-
tic primitives, Experience, Stimulus and Receptor, to analyze expressive sentences.
My suggestion at this point is rather speculative, but it will be given some support
in the subsequent discussion. Also, though we have discussed the notion of the
internal situation that expressive sentences code, this notion is admittedly vague.
Tus, in the next section we reassess the expressive sentence in terms of the notion
of neurological conditions of the speaker that they refer to and the formal charac-
teristics of utterances that express them.
3. Grammar of internal expressive sentences and the neurological processes
In the previous section, some characteristics of internal expressive sentences were
identifed and their three semantic primitives proposed. Tis section delineates
their grammatical system, or how the form is related to what it denotes. For this
purpose, I propose to examine expressive sentences from a rather unconventional
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese o
perspective, i.e. distinct neurological states that humans experience such as refex,
perception, emotion and feeling. Tis proposal may sound ad hoc, but as will be
seen, they will provide an important insight how expressive sentences are orga-
nized internally and with each other. It should be pointed out also that the discus-
sion that follows crucially impinges upon the principal of iconicity (Haiman 1985),
which assumes that there are direct correspondences between details of forms and
the complexity of neurological process that they refer to; the simpler the form, the
simpler the neurological process.
Expressive sentences may take either one-term or two-term forms. As noted
earlier in relation to Mios theory of expressive sentences, not all one-term expres-
sions are internal expressive sentences. If a one-term expression such as jishin da
(earthquake COP)
is an elliptical sentence related to kore wa jishin da (Tis is an
earthquake), it is a descriptive sentence resulting from the thought process of the
speaker. However, if uttered as a reaction to a tremor a jishin da! (oh earthquake
COP) Oh, earthquake!, it is an expressive sentence. Te diference can be substan-
tiated by an observation that the former can be put into the past tense sentence are
wa jishin datta (Tat was an earthquake), but the latter cannot (*a jishin datta!).
While one-term expressions code one primitive in a single expression (karai!
Hot!), two-term expressions code two primitives. In the expression a kimuchi
karai! (Oh! (this) kimchi is spicy!), both Stimulus kimuchi (kimchi) and Experi-
ence karai (spicy) are expressed. In two-term expressions, the nominative case
particle ga may be present. Te use and non-use of the nominative particle will be
taken up in Section 3.3.1 and 3.3.2 below. Before turning to the discussions of one-
and two-term expressions, however, we must examine carefully what I have been
calling the outcry vocalizations. I will show in the next section that these vocaliza-
tions can be termed refex expressions.
3.1 Refex expression
As a point of departure for the discussion of refex expressions, it is useful to refer
to Nathans description of refex as a neurological phenomenon. According to
Nathan (2004), (a) refex occurs before an individual knows what struck him,
what made him lif a foot or drop an object. It is biologically correct to be alarmed
before one knows the reason. Refex expressions are verbal emulation of an actual
physical refex, a verbal reaction without referring to the cause. Independently
produced outcry expressions such as a!, aa, and waa, are a prima facie example
7. Both jishin! (Earthquake!) and jishin da! (Its an earthquake!) are considered to be one-term
expressions. One-term is, thus, defned either as one word or one word followed by the copula.
o| Shoichi Iwasaki
of verbal refex (cf. Haimans symptomatic gesture
). Tese are pre-linguistic ex-
pressions indexing only the existence of the experiencer/speaker, and fail to refer
to any of the three primitives mentioned in Section 2.2. Te refex expressions of-
ten precede an expressive sentence, as shown in many examples to follow, such as
a! itai! (Oh, it hurts!) and waa kiree! (Wow! Beautiful!).
Tere are short and long varieties of the refex gestures a! and (w)aa
, respec-
tively. Te former is pronounced with a glottal stop (shown here as an exclamation
point) and indexes an immediate and acute experience, while the latter variety is
pronounced with a long vowel without a glottal stop and indexes a slower and
more prolonged process. To understand the diference, consider the following de-
scription of two neurologically diferent kinds of pain.
When you hit your thumb with (a hammer), a sharp frst pain is felt immedi-
ately, (followed) later by a more prolonged aching, sometimes burning second
pain. (Basbaum & Jessell, 2000: 474)
Te frst pain may be expressed by the short refex gesture and the second pain by
the long variety. It is thus possible to utter a! (frst pain) followed by aa (second
pain) as in a! aa, but it is impossible to reverse the order, *aa. a!.
3.2 One-term expressions
One-term expressions code perception, feeling or emotion. Te grammar asso-
ciated with one-term expressions can be described in terms of three features:
(i) the possibility of clipped form, (ii) the possibility of co-occurring with a short
outcry expression a!, and (iii) the possibility of co-occurring with a long outcry
expression (w)aa.
8. Haiman ofers the following observation: A symptomatic gesture (let us say, a cry of pain
like [aaaa]) accompanies a psychological state. Tat is, originally the gesture connotes the state.
It becomes a signal which still connotes that state once it is recognized and responded to by
some other animal. Finally, it becomes a sign (say, the English word ouch) which denotes the
state only once it is emancipated both from the stimulus which produced it originally, and from
the motivated state of which it served as a signal (1994: 1516) (Italics in original). Tus, only
when a linguistic expression has been freed from the immediate stimulus can it serve as a de-
scriptive sentence.
9. Te two versions of long refex gestures, aa and waa, are not functionally identical. Te lat-
ter variety, waa, seems to appear when the speaker responds to an external Stimulus, and the
former variety, aa, seems to appear when he/she responds to an internal(ized) Stimulus. Tus,
as a response to the pain described in the quotation, waa is not appropriate. Tis matter could
beneft from further investigation.
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese o,
3.2.1 Perception expression
In opposition to refex, the neurological process of perception analyzes the input
received at the receptor and transmitted to the central nervous system.
tion expressions are a linguistic representation of such neurological analysis, and
index either simple Experience, Stimulus, or marginally, Receptor. As Nathan
notes regarding the neurological process of perception, it is only afer the imme-
diate and automatic response that the cerebral cortex is involved and conscious
perception begins (2004). In contrast to refex expressions, perception expres-
sions are genuine linguistic representations of internal states, referring to one of
the three semantic primitives.
Perception expressions that code Experience are mostly adjectives. Among
several related forms, the most compact form is a clipped adjective sometimes
fused with a short refex expression. Te clipped adjective is formed by deleting
the fnal -i from an -i ending adjective, such as in ita-i > ita (painful).
An expres-
sion with a clipped adjective may be fused with a refex expression by deleting the
refex expressions fnal glottal stop, e.g. a! ita! > aita!. Tey may be further reduced
by deleting /i/ afer /a/ to ata!. Te fnal two vowels of an adjective, if they are /a/
and /i/, may also be fused as /e/ (ita-i > ite) particularly in male speech. Te two
most representative examples of perception expressions are aita! (painful) and
(hot). Tese clipped forms may be (partially) reduplicated; aitatata! (for a
general pain), and achichichichi (for a heat pain). Table 1 below, shows this group
of perception expressions.
Tough the numbers of adjectives that take the clipped form with a fused
verbal refex expressions is limited, the number of clipped form adjective may
be on the rise. Tose in Table 2 below may be used by some as perception

10. In addition to the two types of motor control, refex and reaction via perception, there is a
third type, which is controlled by the brain stem that regulates posture and eye and head move-
ments (Ghez 1991: 5378).
11. Te term clipping usually refers to a morphological process which cuts of part of a word,
e.g. ad clipped from advertisement in English. I am using this term in this paper to refer to the
stem of the i-type adjective. My choice of this word is based on the observation that in a percep-
tion expression, the -i ending form (the full form see below) is basic and the clipped form is
based on this form. Tis is evidenced as all adjectival perception expressions can be formed by
the base form, but only selected ones can be clipped.
12. Since the initial vowel in atsu- (hot) is /a/, the identity of /a/ in atsu! is ambiguous between
the initial vowel of the original adjective and the refex gesture a!.
13. See Sugiura (2005) for more information. Also, those forms in Tables 1 and 2 may have a
long vowel instead of a glottal stop (e.g. amaa (sweet)). Te distinction between ama! and amaa
corresponds to the frst and second types of pain just discussed.
oo Shoichi Iwasaki
Table 1. Perception Expressions of Experience [Clipped Adjective Typical Cases]
Experience Clipped Form English gloss
Sensation (a)ita!/(a)ite! /ata!
hot (temperature)
Table 2. Perception Expressions of Experience: [Clipped Adjective Marginal Cases]
Experience Clipped Form English gloss
a!/(w)aa tsumeta!/
a!/(w)aa tsumete!
a!/(w)aa samu!
a!/(w)aa uma!/ume!
a!/(w)aa mazu!
a!/(w)aa kara!/ kare!
a!/(w)aa ama!
a!/(w)aa niga!
a!/(w)aa suppa!/ suppe!
a!/(w)aa kusa!/
a!/(w)aa kuse!
a!/(w)aa kura!
a!/(w)aa sugo!
a!/(w)aa kowa!
cold (object temp.)
cold (body temp.)
tasty (colloquial)
bad tasting
A much larger number of perception expressions appear with the full-form adjec-
tive. Some adjectives that appear in Tables 1 and 2 also appear in Table 3.
All the expressions presented in Tables 2/3 can be preceded by a short or long
refex expression.
Tus a! itai! refers to the immediate pain and aa itai to a pro-
longed afer-the-efect pain. Perception expressions shown in Table 3 above are
14. I do not provide an approximate or exact translation of the expression in this and other
tables in this paper; for aita! we only give the gloss painful, not a functional equivalent Ouch!
or a more literal translation Oh, its painful! as it is sometimes difcult to give precise equiva-
lents in English.
15. Onoe (2001: 173) notes that adjectives of attribute, such as marui ((be) round), can also be
used in an expressive sentence in a specifc context, as in a! marui! (Oh, its round!). Tis is pos-
sible, for example, when a speaker expects the shape of an object to be square, but has just no-
ticed it is round. Tis latter case belongs to the group of visual Experience in Table (3).
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese o
Table 3. Perception Expressions of Simple Experience: [Full Adjective]
Experience Full Form English Gloss
a!/aa itai!
a!/aa atsui!
a!/aa tsumetai!
a!/aa samui!
a!/aa kayui! a!/aa kaii!
a!/aa karai!
a!/aa oishii!
a!/aa umai!
a!/aa mazui!
a!/aa amai!
a!/aa nigai!
a!/aa suppai!
a!/aa kusai!
a!/aa ii nioi!
a!/aa zarazara!
a!/aa katai!
a!/aa urusai!
a!/aa mabushii!
a!/aa akarui
a!/aa kurai
a!/aa kawaii!
a!/aa kowai!
a!/aa sugoi!
a!/aa abunai!
a!/aa atta!
hot (temp.)
cold (object temp.)
cold (body temp.)
tasty (colloquial)
bad tasting
rough surface
found it (=Its here!)
mostly adjectives, but also include other types of words such as an onomatopoeia
(zarazara for roughness), a noun modifed by an adjective ii nioi (nice smell), or
a verb for a change of state atta! ((its) here < lit. existed). Tey all refer to a simple
One-term perception expressions may also index a simple Stimulus in the
form of [Noun (+Copula)], as shown in Table 4 below. Upon seeing a bug, for ex-
ample, one may utter, a! mushi (da) or aa mushi (da)! (oh, a bug!).
o8 Shoichi Iwasaki
Table 4. Perception Expressions of Simple Stimulus: [Noun (+Copula)]
Stimulus Noun (+Copula) English gloss
a!/aa mushi (da)!
a!/aa ame (da)!
a!/aa jishin (da)!
Marginally, a perception expression may index the Receptor, such as a! ashi! (oh!
foot!) when something has happened to ones foot.
3.2.2 Emotion and feeling expressions
Emotion and feeling are something that humans experience internally beside
perception. Unlike perception, however, they do not allow the clipped form, e.g.
a! *kuyashi! < kuyashii regrettable. Emotion and feeling are similar to each
other, but are distinguished psychologically and neurologically. Emotions are of-
ten associated with mental states that are impulsive and automatic. A working
defnition of emotion-proper provided by Damasio (2003: 53) includes: (1) An
emotion-proper, such as happiness, sadness, embarrassment, or sympathy, is a
complex collection of chemical and neural responses forming a distinctive pat-
tern. (2) Te responses are produced by the normal brain when it detects an emo-
tionally competent stimulus (an ECS), the object or event whose presence, actual
or in mental recall, triggers the emotion. Te responses are automatic.
In con-
trast, feelings are a complex resultant mental state given rise to by emotions and
other factors, and almost always take time to register. A provisional defnition of
feeling given by Damasio (2003: 86) is the perception of a certain state of the
body along with the perception of a certain mode of thinking and of thoughts
with certain themes Te feeling is originated not only from the emotion-proper
but also from any homeostatic reactions, e.g. appetite (Damasio 2003: 85). In
short, while emotion is an automatic response, feeling is a perception originated
by emotion and other reactions.
Te distinction is similar to that between frst and second pains discussed ear-
lier. Tus, I propose that emotion/feeling expressions can be distinguished by the
type of outcry vocalization they co-occur. Tat is, if an expression is preceded by a
short outcry vocalization, it is an emotion expression. If, on the other hand, it is
preceded by a long counterpart, it is a feeling expression. It turns out that only a
16. I reported in Iwasaki (2006) that indicating the Receptor in a one-term expression is more
natural in Korean than in Japanese.
17. Tis type of emotional state is ofen translated as joodoo (emotional movements) in
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese o
Table 5. Experience of Emotion and Feeling
Experience Form English gloss
Emotion (with a!)/
Feeling (with (w)aa)
Feeling proper
a! /(w)aa kuyashii!
a! /(w)aa yokatta!
a! /(w)aa zannen!
a!/(w)aa natsukashii
a!/(w)aa ureshii
a!/(w)aa tanoshii
a!/(w)aa osoroshii
a! /aa chikushoo!
aa kanashii
aa tsurai
(was) good
hurt/painful (psychologically)
few are clearly feeling expressions, and many can refer to both emotion and feel-
ing. Feeling expressions include aa kanashii sad and aa tsurai hurt/painful
(psychologically). Tese cannot be preceded by a!.
On the other hand, expres-
sions like kuyashii regrettable can be preceded by either variety. Like a! itai (frst
pain) and aa itai (second pain), a! kuyashii (emotion) and aa kuyashii (feeling)
refer to the immediate reaction to a stimulus that is considered regrettable and to
the processed reaction to it, respectively.
Emotions are expressed by diferent types of words, but feelings are expressed
only by adjectives. Both emotion and feeling expressions code Experience.

3.2.3 An interim summary
Table 6 below summarizes the discussion of refex expressions and other one-term
expressions that code perception, emotion and feeling, as defned by clipping
possibility of adjectives, the co-occurrence possibilities with a!, and with (w)aa!.
18. Notice that most adjectives used for feelings and emotions have the -shii ending. Tis is
not accidental. Adjectives in Classical Japanese are classifed according to their conjugational
patterns into the -ku and -shiku conjugation adjectives, and in general they correspond to objec-
tive (e.g. taka-ku high) and subjective (e.g. kana-shiku sad) adjectives, respectively. Te erst-
while -shiku ending adjectives have become theshii ending adjectives in Modern Japanese.
19. Onoe notes that adjectives of feeling can be used as an emotion expression if the speaker
registers it strongly at a particular moment; a! kanashii! (Oh, Im so sad!) (2001: 173).
20. Tere may be some sentences of feeling that refer to Stimulus, such as a! kono yaroo! (Oh,
Bastard! lit. oh, this guy!). Tis expression, however, may have become conventionalized, and
refers to Experience. Similarly a! ckikusho! in Table (5) originally referred to beasts (Stimulus),
but has become completely conventionalized and code Experience.
o Shoichi Iwasaki
Table 6. A Grid of Quality of Expression
Refex Perception Emotion Feeling
Clipped Adjective NA
Preceded by a! NA + +
Preceded by (w)aa NA + + +
Tis table reveals that the four types of neurological experiences have specifc for-
mal patterns. Refex expressions are pre-linguistic expressions taking the form of
either a! or (w)aa. Emotion and Feeling expressions do not take clipped adjectives,
and both can co-occur with the long refex expression. However, only emotion
expression can take the short variety. Perception expressions may take the clipped
form of adjective and can occur with either type of refex expression. Tus, among
the three linguistic expressions, the perception expression is least restricted, and
can code a variety of semantic primitives. As shown below perception expressions
can be further developed more freely in two-term expression compared to the
emotion/feeling expressions.
3.3 Two-term expressions
Two-term expressions can be classifed formally into two types. In one, the two
terms are connected by the particle ga. Te expression of this type indicates either
a complex Stimulus or Stimulus-with-Experience. Tis type of expansion is avail-
able only for perception expressions. In the other, the two terms are juxtaposed
with each other without the particle. Te expression of this type successively pres-
ents a simple Stimulus/Receptor and Experience.
3.3.1 Complex perception: Expressive sentence with ga
Two-term expressions may be expressions of complex perceptions, consisting of a
noun and a verb/adjective connected by the particle ga of neutral description
(Kuno 1973). From the view of the information structure, these sentences are
those with sentence focus, i.e. the whole of the information is new to the speaker.
Semantically, these sentences do not express a proposition composed of a subject
and the predicate.
Tose in (5) below identify the type of sensation (Experience) as e.g. itai pain-
ful and the location of sensation (Receptor) as, e.g. onaka stomach. Formally, the
two primitives are connected with the particle ga.
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese :
(5) Sensation Perception (Complex perception = Receptor + Experience)
aa. onaka ga itai.
exc stomach nom painful
Oh, stomach hurts!
aa. me ga kayui.
exc eye nom itchy
Oh, eyes are itchy!
Other types of perception can be also expanded into a two-term expression with
the particle ga. Note that the pain perceptions in (5) above are preceded by the
refex expression aa, indicating they represent the second phase of perception. In
this case, prefacing with a! will lead to unacceptable expressions. Selection of a! or
aa, however, fuctuates depending on the exact perception involved as shown in
(6) below. In these examples, Stimulus (e.g. kyuuri cucumber) and Experience
(e.g. oishii delicious) are coded in one expression.
(6) (Complex perception = Stimulus + Experience)
a. Gustatory Perception
aa. kyuuri ga oishii!
exc cucumber nom delicious
Oh, a cucumber is delicious! (Delicious cucumber!)
b. Olfactory Perception
aa. happa ga ii nioi!
exc leaf nom good smell
Oh, the leaves smell nice!
c. Auditory Perception
aa. hae ga urusai!
exc fy nom nosy
Oh, a fy is noisy!
d. Tactile Perception
a!/aa. happa ga zarazara!
exc leaf nom rough.surface
Oh, the leaves feel rough!
e. Visual Perception
a!/aa. denki ga mabushii!
exc light nom bright
Oh, the light is bright!
i Shoichi Iwasaki
Comparing the examples in (5) and (6) above, those in (5) are more readily ac-
cepted than those in (6)
. Tere are at least two potential reasons for this slight
discrepancy. First, the pain expressions in (5) are far more common to appear in
actual speech than other sensation expressions, and may have become formulaic.
Tat is, those in (5) are familiar enough to be accepted without imagining an ap-
propriate context, while those in (6) require proper contexts to be imagined. Sec-
ond, in the pain expression, both Receptor and Experience exist within a speaker,
making it easier for the two to be bridged, but in other perception expressions,
Experience is internal but Stimulus external, making such cognitive operation
more difcult.
When the two primitives are both external, two-term expressions are also easy
to construct. In Section 3.2.1 it was noted that a one-term perception expression
such as a! mushi! is uttered upon registering a simple Stimulus. When the Stimulus
to be referred to is more complex, grammar codes it as a two-term expression.
Tus, upon seeing a bug (Stimulus) and simultaneously perceiving its condition
(another Stimulus), a speaker may utter a! mushi ga shinderu (A dead bug! < lit.
Oh! A bug is dead). Similarly, upon hearing a bug chirping, a speaker may utter a!
mushi ga naiteru (A bug chirping! < lit. Oh! A bug is chirping). Some examples of
visual perception and auditory perception are provided below in (7) and (8), re-
spectively. Refex markers can be either short or long.
(7) Visual perception (Complex perception = Complex Stimulus = Stimulus +
a. a!/(w)aa mushi ga shinderu.
exe bug nom dead
Oh, a bug is dead!
b. a!/(w)aa okane ga ochiteru.
exe money nom fallen
Oh, fallen money (on the ground)!
c. a!/(w)aa inu ga hashitteru.
exe dog nom run:asp:npst
Oh, a dog is running/passing by!
d. a!/(w)aa hebi ga detekita.
exe snake nom come.out:pst
Oh, a snake is coming out!
21. According to a small sampling of opinions from eleven native Japanese speakers, both of
the pain perception expressions in (5) are unanimously judged to be acceptable with the long
outcry marker, aa, while judgments vary among other perception expressions in (6).
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese
e. a!/(w)aa hoshi ga kiree.
exe star nom beautiful
Wow, the stars are beautiful!
f. a!/(w)aa kao ga akai.
exe face nom red
Oh, (his/your etc.) face is red!
(8) Auditory perception (Complex perception = Complex Stimulus)
a. a!/(w)aa mushi ga naiteru.
exe bug nom cry:asp:nps
Oh, (I hear that) a bug is chirping!
b. a!/(w)aa kaminari ga ochita.
exe thunder nom fall:pasa
Oh, (I hear) thunder!
(upon hearing a loud noise caused by thunder)
c. a!/(w)aa mizu ga nagareteru.
exe water nom fow:asp:nps
Oh, (I hear that) water is fowing!
(upon hearing rather than seeing the fowing water)
According to Kuroda, the above examples are sentences of thetic judgment, which
represent a simple recognition of the existence of an actual situation (Kuroda
1992: 2223).
In other words, when the speaker utters these sentences, he per-
ceives the situation as a complex stimulus with no focus on either the entity or its
temporary situation; no part of these sentences has been activated in the mind of
the speaker, both are simultaneously activated on the spot. As said earlier, these
sentences do not express a proposition, which must have a subject and the pred-
icate independently.
3.3.2 Perception of successive simple stimuli: Expressive sentence without ga
We noted earlier that in a sentence of thetic judgment, such as those involving [NP
ga V/Adj.], neither the NP nor the V/Adj. receives saliency, or has been activated
in the mind of the speaker independently. Based on this, it can be predicted that if
the NP is assumed to be activated in the mind of a speaker (Chafe 1976, 1994)
through modifcation with a demonstrative, the sentence will become ungram-
matical. Compare the two sentences taken from (7) and presented again in (9) and
their counterparts with demonstrative modifers in (10) below.
22. Kurodas thetic judgment sentences correspond to Kunos sentence of neutral description
(1973). We can treat all the sentences in (5) through (8) in either of these terms.
| Shoichi Iwasaki
(9) Perception expressions
a!/(w)aa mushi ga shinderu.
exe bug nom dead
Oh, a bug is dead!
a!/(w)aa hoshi ga kiree!
exc star nom beautiful
Wow, the stars are beautiful!
(10) Perception expressions with a demonstrative
*a!/(w)aa kono mushi ga shinderu!
exc this bug nom dead
Tis bug is dead!
*a!/(w)aa ano hoshi ga kiree!
exc that star nom beautiful
Tat star is beautiful!
Tose sentences in (10) become acceptable if a!/(w)aa is removed and ga inter-
preted as the particle of exhaustive listing with the meaning, such as kono mushi ga
shinderu (Its this bug thats dead not those others). Tis sentence, however, is no
longer an expressive sentence, but a descriptive sentence.
Tis will be discussed
in Section 4 below. More signifcantly for the purpose of the present discussion,
the sentences in (10) become perfectly acceptable as expressive sentences if the
particle ga is removed, as shown in (11).
(11) a!/(w)aa kono mushi __ shinderu!
exc this bug _ dead
Oh, this bug is dead!
a!/(w)aa. ano hoshi __ kiree!
exc that star _ beautiful
Wow, that star is beautiful!
Tis suggests that the sentences in (11) are not integrated thetic judgment sen-
tences, but those that consist of two terms juxtaposed with one another, one refer-
ring to the identity of simple Stimulus (kono mushi (this bug) or ano hoshi (that
23. It is crucial that the modifer is a demonstrative. Since other types of modifers like adjec-
tives and genitival phrases do not specify the modifed nouns as activated concepts, they will not
create ungrammatical sentences with ga such as the following; a! akai mushi ga shinderu (Oh! a
red bug is dead!), a! boku no mushi ga shinderu (Oh! my bug is dead!), and, a! Kimi-chan no
mushi ga shinderu (Oh! Kimmys bug is dead!).
24. Note that the two functions of ga which Kuno identifes (1973), the neutral description and
the exhaustive listing, are now defned by a distinction between two sentence types.
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese ,
star)) and another referring to its state (shinderu (is dead) or kiree (is beautiful)).
In other words, the sentences in (11) depict two simple stimuli in succession. It
should be pointed out that emotion and feeling expressions cannot be turned into
a thetic judgment sentence, but it can be turned into the type represented by (11);
a! kono ongaku _ natsukashii! Oh, this music conjures old memories!)
Finally, it should be noted that ga in all examples in (5) and (6) can be omitted.
In some cases, acceptability will increase by removing the particle. According to the
proposal above, there is a certain diference between the versions with and without
ga. Compare (12a) and (12b). Te former represents an instantaneous expres-
sion of a cucumber being delicious (Delicious cucumber!), while the latter
separately codes the cucumber (external Stimulus) and registering as delicious
(internal Experience). In other words, (12b) is synonymous with (12c).
(12) a. a!/aa kyuuri ga oishii! (cf. (6))
exc cucumber nom delicious
Oh, a cucumber is delicious! (Delicious cucumber!)
b. a!/aa kyuuri __ oishii!
exc cucumber delicious
Oh, (this) cucumber is delicious!
c. a!/aa kono kyuuri __ oishii!
exc this cucumber delicious
Oh, this cucumber is delicious!
Te observation that a ga marked noun phrase has not been activated in the minds
of the speaker further explains the naturalness of (13a, b, d) and the unnatural-
ness of (13c) below (cf. Masunaga, 1988: 14950).
(13) a. a! basu _ kita
exc bus _ came
Oh, a bus is coming!
b. a! basu ga kita
exc bus _ came
Oh, a bus is coming!
c. *a! kyuukyuusha _ kita
exc ambulance _ came
Oh, an ambulance is coming!
25. Te distinction found between (12a) and (12b) is not relevant when the noun is a body
part (Receptor); a/aa onaka (ga) itai! Oh, I have a stomachache! see (5) above. Tis is most
likely related to the fact that a body part can never be modifed by a demonstrative such as kono
this. Tis matter requires a further investigation.
o Shoichi Iwasaki
d. a! kyuukyuusha ga kita
exc ambulance nom came
Oh, an ambulance is coming!
Upon seeing an approaching bus, a person, if he/she has been waiting at a bus stop,
can say (13a) to him/herself without ga. If, however, a person accidentally saw an
approaching bus, he/she would utter (13b) in his/her mind. Te reason why
(13c) sounds odd is because it is rare for people to wait for ambulances than
buses (i.e. it is harder to imagine a proper context). If a person accidentally saw an
approaching ambulances, he/she would utter (13d). Te point is that if the noun
phrase represents a non-activated concept, ga marking is obligatory. In contrast, if
it represents an activated concept, ga marking becomes problematic.
3.3.3 Interim summary
Tis section described two-term expressions. Such expressions describe visual,
auditory, and other perceptions. Te two terms in a two-term expression are con-
nected with the particle ga or juxtaposed without it. Te form, [NP-ga X], indi-
cates the speakers perception as a whole thetic judgment, but the [NP _ X] indi-
cates that the NP is independently identifed or activated before a situation
involving it is presented.
4. External descriptive sentences revisited
As we noted in the previous section, sentences in (11) and (12b), such as a! kono
mushi _ shinderu, are not thetic sentences of internal experience. However, they
are not external descriptive sentences either. A sentence becomes fully developed
as an external-descriptive sentence when the sentence is no longer temporally de-
ictic (Section 2.1). Tis can be done by removing the outcry expression and insert-
ing a particle, either ga or wa.
(14) External descriptive sentences
kono mushi ga/wa shindeiru
this bug nom/top die:asp:npst
Tis bug is dead.
26. According to Matsunaga, it is possible to make a sentence like (13c) acceptable by adding
a sentence fnal particle such as yo or zo: a! kyuukyuusha _ kita yo as these particles move the
focus from the NP to the verb (1988: 147). However, even without yo, it is possible to utter
(13c) in a context in which someone has called an ambulance, and the ambulance has just ar-
rived. Te function of yo here seems to create an understanding between the speaker and hearer
that there is a shared understanding regarding the ambulance.
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese
ano hoshi ga/wa kiree da
that star nom/top beautiful cop
Tat star is beautiful.
Tese sentences are familiar sentences to students of Japanese linguistics. Te sen-
tences with wa are sentences of double judgment (Kuroda 1990, 1992), in which
the speaker frst singles out an entity and deliberately attributes a certain property
to it, such as Look at this bug, it is dead. Te sentences with ga, on the other hand,
are sentences of exhaustive listing (Kuno 1973), in which the speaker identifes an
entity to be predicated, as in the sentence It is this bug that is dead. From the neu-
rological point of view, both types represent the process of cognition, which works
to analyze a situation by sorting out a complex stimulus. Tere is another type of
descriptive sentence, the generic sentence, as shown in (15).
(15) External descriptive sentences
mushi wa chiisana ikimono da
bug top small living.thing cop
Te insect is a small living thing.
hoshi wa yozora o terasu
star top acc shine:npst
Stars shine across the night sky.
When a speaker uses generic sentences, he/she leaves the deictic world of here and
now, and enters the abstract, conceptual world.
Before we leave this section, we should make a brief note on the communica-
tive intent in language. One important feature of the internal-state expressions we
have been discussing is their non-communicative nature (see 2.1). Descriptive
sentences can also be used without any communicative intent. Tis happens when
speakers use these sentences to organize thoughts for themselves. In other words,
while communication is an important aspect of language, it is not a defning char-
acteristic of language.
5. Summary
Internal state expressions are linguistic representation of a speakers neurological
experience of perception, emotion, and feeling that he/she is undergoing inter-
nally at the time of utterance, and are, in principle, self-directed speech and not
intended for communication. Refex expressions are pre-linguistic gestures de-
noted by a!, aa and waa in Japanese. Internal state expressions reveal one or two of
the three primitives of Stimulus, Experience and Receptor. One-term perception
8 Shoichi Iwasaki
expressions in various forms with clipped or non-clipped adjectives and a limited
number of other words refer to a simple Experience, Stimulus, or marginally, Re-
ceptor. One-term emotion and feeling expressions do not take clipped forms, but
the former can co-occur with either a! or (w)aa, while the latter only with the long
expression, (w)aa. Among the three types of internal states, only perception can be
further elaborated into a two-term expression freely.
Two-term expressions code complex perceptions. When the two terms are con-
nected by the particle ga, the expression conveys the speakers thetic judgment ap-
plied to the whole utterance. When they are not connected with the particle, the
expression is a successive production of two pieces of information, i.e. two diferent
Stimuli a! mushi _ shinderu (Oh, the bug is dead!), Receptor and Experience aa.
onaka _ itai (Oh, my stomach hurts!), and Stimulus and Experience a! kyuuri _
oishii (Oh, this cucumber is delicious!). When the information is processed by a
higher neurological function of cognition, the speaker can produce a sentence con-
sisting of a noun followed by ga (exhaustive listing) or wa (topic) and a predicative
element, as seen in the sentence kono mushi ga/wa shindeiru (Tis bug is dead).
We hope to have shown that internal expressive sentences are best viewed as
linguistic representations of neurological processes that humans undergo. Tis re-
lationship will be eventually understood as part of the iconic principle pervasively
found in language (Haiman 1985). Te neurological event is a fundamental expe-
rience for humans, and thus it is expected to make a mark on all natural human
languages. It is hoped that research such as this one will be conducted on diverse
6. Discussion and conclusion
In this concluding section, I will discuss a theoretical implication of the current
research and methodological issues for studying expressive sentences.
Te expressive sentences in Japanese examined in this paper are largely ig-
nored in linguistics. An obvious reason for such neglect is that these sentences do
not convey a proposition, and thus are considered a sub-sentence in a feld that is
concerned with proposition making as a major endeavor of linguistic expressions.
Even those who acknowledge the expressive function of language pay little atten-
tion to the grammatical system that underlies it. Tis paper thus tried to fll this
gap by showing grammatical system which maps the form and the internal state
that it reveals. Grammatical systems discovered include possibility of clipping of
adjectives, co-occurrence patterns with diferent types of refex expressions, ex-
pansion of one-term expression into two-term expression, the use and non-use of
nominative particle ga and the use of demonstratives among others. Tese systems
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese
are rather odd if seen from the confnement of traditional grammatical paradigm.
However, native speakers know these patterns; e.g. they will never say *a! kono
mushi ga shinderu (Oh! this bug is dead!) upon seeing a dead bug, but may say a!
kono mushi __ shinderu (Oh! this bug is dead!) without the particle ga. Likewise,
native speakers can distinguish the grammatical use of clipped forms for certain
adjectives aita! (painful) and the ungrammatical use of such forms for other adjec-
tives *a! ureshi! (happy). Tis means that the grammatical knowledge of native
speakers includes recognition of these systems.
Te question remains however, of how to understand this system in relation to
the more familiar systems that have been traditionally discussed in linguistics. For
example, how should we understand the function of subject marking by the par-
ticle ga and its function in a thetic judgment sentence? Here I suggest that lan-
guage consists of multiple dimensions defned by diferent functional domains,
and each dimension may be organized grammatically diferently with overlaps to
various degrees. Besides the dimension of internal expressions, other dimensions
of language that should be recognized include, conversational interaction, oral
narratives, poetry, academic writing, sports casting and many more. Tese dimen-
sions have been conventionally discussed in terms of speech genres, but we must
now critically examine each genres internal grammar. Speakers acquire a diferent
set of multiple grammars throughout their lives at diferent times, with diferent
rates of learning and through diferent means. A mature speaker is thus a person
who has integrated multiple grammars, and can use them separately or concur-
rently within a single discourse. Te current study could be seen as an initial step
towards understanding such grammatical knowledge and ability to use them in
real discourse.
Research into internal expressive sentences has been neglected both in formal
and functional linguistics because of its methodological difculty. Expressive sen-
tences are not always available in the kind of discourse data linguists collect. Even
in emotion-laden oral stories of personal tragedy, what one most ofen fnds is a
linguistic description of refex, perception, emotion, and feeling, or at best, one
can fnd acting of pain, hurt and joy, for example. Tese expressions are not, how-
ever, truly temporally deictic expressions. Furthermore, internal states such as
pain, hurt, joy, and the like are more ofen than not communicated through extra-
linguistic features, such as grunts and noises (Campbell 2005).
We can, however, consider a few methodologies that may be utilized. One pos-
sibility is to identify expressive sentences in a large spoken corpus. For example,
Campbell used a corpus containing almost fve years of daily conversational
speech (2005: 116) to study expressive speech (Campbell 2004, 2005). Tough
the chances of fnding actual examples of expressive sentences will increase as the
size of the corpus becomes larger, it may not be possible to able to get to all the
8o Shoichi Iwasaki
details of the phenomena, as expressive speech is by nature private, and may not be
captured by the currently available methodologies.
On the other hand, comic books contain many exclamations, curses, and oth-
er expressive language, and thus are promising sites in which expressive sentences
can be studied. Gofman (1981: 114) advocates the use of cartoon and comic books
to study response cries as creators of such an art form must capture the presumed
inner state of cartoon fgures.
Te following are a few relevant examples of ex-
pressive language that appear in Pocket Monster Special vol. 1 (2005, Hidenori
Kusaka, Tokyo:Shogaku-kan):
(16) Pre-linguistic refex expressions:
a!? uwa! ku!
a~a~ uwaa!? hi!
aa!? uwaaaa!! waa!!
achaa eee!? wa!
uo!? oo! waaa!
Sensation perception expressions
ite!/ tete!/atatatata/ (< itai painful)
uatchi! (< atsui hot)
he? e!? heee. What?
kuso!/kusoo. Shit!/Damn it!
kono yaroo!! Bastard!
a! dokukurage Oh! Dokkukurage!
(a name of Pocket Monster)
a! kabigon Oh! Kabigon!
(a name of Pocket Monster)
a! booru miiikke Oh! I found the ball!
u... nanda? kono kiri... Hm? What? Tis fog...
kaaaa! kawaikunee yatsu Mmmmm. Not a cute one!
27. See also Maynard (2002: 117121) for a detailed discussion on the use of comics, fctions and
television dramas as linguistic data. A caution is, however, necessary as the language in comics is
a creation of the author, and may not correspond to the real use of language (see Kinsui 2003).
28. Diverse orthographic conventions are used for various efects in the original. Here we can
convey only some of these.
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese 8:
Even this small sample gives both confrmation for some points made in the pres-
ent paper and suggestions for further analysis. In this data are found pain expres-
sions in the clipped form (ite!) and the fused form (uatchi! < u! atchi!) as well as a
clipped form that lacks the initial vowel (tete < itete < itai itai; atatatata < a! itai
itai itai). A slightly more complex sentence would include extra material; in a,
booru miiikke, the verb miiikke is a clipped form from mitsuketa found.
An ex-
panded database of comics will most likely aford more varied forms used for in-
ternal expression.
Another reasonable solution is an old technique of using introspection. Tere
is always the danger of fabricating data to ones own advantage in the introspection
based research, but as has been noted, certain aspects of language such as (m)ean-
ings, mental imagery, emotions, and consciousness (Chafe 1994: 12) (and we
could add other internal states SI) can only be privately observable. For these
aspects of language, introspection provides an important initial point of explora-
tion. Of course, linguists who wish to study expressive sentences or similar phe-
nomena such as inner speech (Vygotsky 1962: 448) need to struggle to pair up
their theory with publicly observable linguistic behavior (Chafe 1994: 15), and ac-
cept criticisms on their judgment, and continue to revise their understanding of
the phenomena. However, since it is unlikely that one methodology will reveal the
entire range of phenomenon of internal expression, making use of a variety of
methodologies is crucial. Only through such an open-minded approach will we
advance our knowledge of human language.
Bally, Charles. 1965[1925]. Le langage et la vie. Genve: Droz.
Basbaum, Allan I. & Jessell, Tomas M. 2000. Te perception of pain. In Principles of Neural
Science (4th edition), Eric R. Kandel, James Schwartz & Tomas M. Jessell (eds), 472491.
New York NY: McGraw-Hill.
Bednarek, Monika. 2006. Bhler, Karl (18791963). In Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics,
2nd edn, Keith Brown (ed.), 145147. Oxford: Elsevier.
Besnier, Nico. 1990. Language and afect. Annual Review of Anthropology 19: 419451. DOI:
29. Logically, booru (ball) is the direct object of mikke ((I) found) and should be able to take the
accusative case particle o, but this is not an option here; *a! booru o mikke!. Tough this is like a
sentence that cannot take the nominative case particle (e.g. a! kono mushi _ shinderu (oh, this
bug is dead!), the situation seems more complicated. In fact, there is no circumstance in which
the accusative particle is allowed with this verb when the speaker makes an announcement
about his/her discovery of an object whether the ball has been activated in the mind of the
speaker. I will leave this matter for future research.
8i Shoichi Iwasaki
Bhler, Karl. 1933. Ausdruckstheorie. Das system an der Geschichte aufgezeigt. Jena: Fischer.
Campbell, Nick. 2004. Databases of expressive speech. Journal of Chinese Language and Com-
puting 14(4): 295304.
Campbell, Nick. 2005. Getting to the heart of the matter: Speech as the expression of afect,
rather than just text or language. Language Resources and Evaluation 39(1): 109118. DOI:
Chafe, Wallace L. 1976. Givenness, contrastiveness, defniteness, subjects, topics and point of
view. In Subject and Topic, Charles N. Li (ed.). New York NY: Academic Press.
Chafe, Wallace L. 1994. Discourse, Consciousness, and Time Te Flow and Displacement of Con-
sciousness Experience in Speaking and Writing. Chicago IL: Te University of Chicago Press.
Dane, Frantiek. 1994. Involvement with language and in language. Journal of Pragmatics 22:
25164. DOI: 10.1016/0378-2166(94)90111-2
Damasio, Antonio. 2003. Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. New York NY:
Dong, Quang Phuc. 1971. English sentences without overt grammatical subject. In Studies out
in Lef Field: Defamatory Essays Presented to James D. McCawley on his 33rd or 34th Birth-
day, Arnold M. Zwicky A., Peter H. Salus, Robert I. Binick and Anthony L. Vanek (eds),
310. Edmonton: Linguistic Research Inc. Reprinted in 1992 by John Benjamins.
Ghez, Claude. 1991. Te control of movement (Chapter 35). In Eric R. Kandel, J. Schwartz and
T. Jessell. Principles of Neural Science. (3rd edition), 533547. New York: Elsevier.
Gofman, Erving. 1983[1981]. Forms of Talk. Philadelphia PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Haiman, John (ed.). 1985. Iconicity in Syntax [Typological Studies in Language 6]. Amsterdam:
John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/tsl.6
Haiman, John (ed.). 1994. Ritualization and the development of language. In Perspectives of
Grammaticalization [Current Issues in Linguistic Teory 109], William Pagliuca (ed.),
328. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Innis, Robert E. 1982. Karl Bhler - Semiotic Foundations of Language Teory. New York NY:
Plenum Press. DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4757-0923-0
Irvine, Judith. 1982. Language and afect: Some cross-cultural issues. In Georgetown University
Roundtable on Languages and Linguistics, Heidi Byrnes (eds), 3147. Washington DC:
Georgetown University Press.
Iwasaki, Shoichi. 2006. Te structure of internal state expressions in Japanese and Korean. In
Japanese/Korean Linguistics, Timothy J. Vance & Kimberly A. Jones (eds), 331342. Stanford
Jakobson, Roman. 1960. Linguistics and poetics. In Style in Language, Tomas A. Sebeok (ed.),
350377. Cambridge: CUP.
Kay, Paul & Fillmore, Charles. 1999. Grammatical constructions and linguistic generalization:
Te whats X doing Y? construction. Language 75: 133 DOI: 10.2307/417472
Kinsui, Satoshi. 2003. Vaacharu nihongo: Yakuwarigo no nazo (Virtual Japanese: A mystery of
role specifed language). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Kuno, Susumu. 1973. Te structure of the Japanese language. Cambridge MA: Te MIT Press.
Kuroda, Sige-Yuki. 1990. Te categorical and the thetic judgment reconsidered. In Mind, Mean-
ing and Metaphysics. Te Philosophy and Teory of Language of Anton Marty, Kevin Mulli-
gan (ed.). Dordrecht: Kluwer. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-009-0505-4_6
Kuroda, Sige-Yuki. 1992. Japanese Syntax and Semantics: Collected Papers. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
DOI: 10.1007/978-94-011-2789-9
Levinson, Stephen C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP.
Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese 8
Linell, Per. 2005. Te Written Language Bias in Linguistics: Its Nature, Origins and Transforma-
tions. London/New York: Routledge.
Lyons, John. 1977. Semantics, Vol. 1. Cambridge: CUP.
Lyons, John. 1982. Deixis and subjectivity: Loquor ergo sum? In Speech, Place and Action: Stud-
ies in Deixis and Related Topics, Robert J. Jarvella & Wolfgang Klein (eds), 10124. New
York NY: Wiley.
Masunaga, Kiyoko. 1988. Case deletion and discourse context. In Papers from the Second Inter-
national Workshop on Japanese Syntax, William J. Poser (ed.), 145156. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Matsushita, Daisaburo. 1978[1930]. Kaisen hyoojun nihon bunpoo (teisei saihan) (Revised
Standard Japanese Grammar (corrected and re-published)). Tokyo: Bensei-sha.
Maynard, Senko K. 2000. Jooi no gengo-gaku: Ba-kooshoo-ron to nihongo hyoogen no patosu.
Tokyo: Kuroshio shuppan.
Maynard, Senko K. 2002. Linguistic Emotivity. Centrality of Place, the Topic-comment Dynamic,
and an Ideology of Pathos in Japanese Discourse [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 97].
Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/pbns.97
Maynard, Senko K. 2007. Linguistic Creativity in Japanese discourse: Exploring the Multiplicity of
Self, Perspectives, and Voice [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 159]. Amsterdam: John
Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/pbns.159
Mio, Isago. 2003[1948]. Kokugohoo bunshoo ron (A theory of Japanese sentences). Tokyo:
Morishige, Satoshi. 1971. Nihonbunpoo no shomondai (Issues in Japanese grammar). Tokyo:
Kasama shoin.
Nathan, Peter W. 2004. Human nervous system. In Encyclopdia Britannica. <http://search.eb.
com/eb/article?eu=119942> (11 August, 2004).
Ochs, Elinor & Schiefelin, Bambi. 1989. Language has a heart. TEXT 9(1): 725. DOI: 10.1515/
Onoe, Keisuke. 2001. Bunpoo to imi I (Grammar and meaning I). Tokyo: Kuroshio-shuppan.
Palmer, Frank R. 1986. Mood and Modality. Cambridge: CUP.
Sadock, Jerrold M. & Zwicky, Arnold M. Speech-act distinctions in syntax. In Language Typol-
ogy and Syntactic Description: Clause Structure, Timothy Shopen (ed.). Cambridge: CUP.
Sakuma, Kanae. 1952. Gendai nihongohoo no kenkyuu. Tokyo: Koosei-sha Koosei-kaku.
Sakuma, Kanae. 1967. Nihon-teki hyoogen no gengo kagaku (Language science of Japanese ex-
pression). Tokyo: Koosei-sha Koosei-kaku.
Sato, Masahiko. 2004. Noo-shinkei to koo doo (Te brain-nervous system and behavior). Tokyo:
Iwanami Shoten.
Sugiura, Katsumi. 2005. Samu! uma! nado ni mirareru bunpooka ni kansuru koosatsu:
Koobun bunpoo no shiten. Te Japanese Cognitive Linguistics Association Conference Hand-
book, 153156.
Vygotsky, Lev S. 1962[1934]. Tought and Language, trans. by Eugenia Hanfmann & Gertrude
Vakar. Cambridge MA & New York NY: Te MIT Press & John Wiley & Sons.
Yamada, Yoshio. 1954[1936]. Nihon bunpgaku gairon (Introduction to Japanese grammar).
Tokyo: Hobunkan. DOI: 10.1037/11193-000
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity
and Japanese grammar
A functional approach
Rumiko Shinzato
Tis survey study intends to show the benefts of adopting the functional
linguistic perspectives of emphasizing the non-referential and emotive/
subjective aspects of language, which are largely neglected in mainstream
formalist linguistics. Specifcally, this paper will frst point out the fact that both
Japanese linguist Haga and French linguist Benveniste independently proposed
very similar dichotomies, juttei vs. dentatsu (Haga 1954) and subjectivity
vs. intersubjectivity (Benveniste 1971[1958]) for their analyses of the non-
propositional parts of language. Subsequently, drawing upon published studies,
this paper will point out the relevance of these two dichotomies to syntactic
organization (predicate order in particular), soliloquy and dialogue (or mental
and speech act) dyad, and diachronic change (namely, the unidirectionality in
grammaticalization from subjectifcation > intersubjectifcation (Traugott 2003).
1. Introduction
It is probably fair to say that mainstream formalist linguistics has built on analyses
of discrete and close-ended data, out of discoursal context, and at the exclusion of
the speaker (cf. Givn 1982; Hopper 1997). It has treated language as an abstract,
static, mechanical, and non-humanistic object (Finegan 1995). Actual data, which
faithfully represent the reality of language in everyday life, but do not conform to
the formalist models, were ignored and conveniently replaced by introspection
(Laury & Ono 2005). Naturally, in this school, referential, rational and objective
aspects of linguistic expressions were of the utmost concern, and non-referential,
emotive, and subjective aspects were largely neglected (Lyons 1982, 1995; Mushin
2001; Maynard 2002; Suzuki 2006). Tus, the downplaying or dismissal of the
1. I would like to thank Kaori Kabata and Tsuyoshi Ono for their valuable comments and
advice on an earlier version of this paper. I am also grateful to a reviewer of this paper for her/
his comments. Any shortcomings remain my own.
8o Rumiko Shinzato
speaker has been commonplace in the generative tradition (Mushin 2001: 3), let
alone other interactants, conversational context, and subtle cues of participants
visual and bodily conduct, which have been vigorously investigated in Conversa-
tional Analysis (CA) (Selting & Couper-Kuhlen 2001; Prevignano & Tibault
2003; Hayashi 2003).
In stark contrast, a branch of traditional Japanese linguistics (kokugogaku) has
always been concerned with the subjective, emotive and interactive parts of lan-
guage, which have been integral to the Japanese language (Tokieda 1941; Watanabe
1953; Minami 1974). Testimonial to this is a long tradition of Japanese linguistic
studies (Watanabe 1953, inter alia) on chinjutsu (roughly subjectivity + intersub-
in the sense of Benveniste). Closely related to chinjutsu is the notion of
ima/koko/watashi now/here/I, which has been widely recognized and integrated
in grammatical descriptions of Japanese (Nakau 1994; Watanabe 1995; Onoe 2001
Not surprisingly, this notion relates to ground in cognitive linguistics
(Langacker 1991), deixis (Bhler 1934; Lyons 1977; Duchan et al. 1995), and sub-
jectivity (Benveniste 1971[1958]) in Western functional linguistics.
Te importance of non-referential and emotive/subjective aspects of the
Japanese language has been also emphasized in Western functional linguistics. A
2. An anonymous reviewer ofers a diferent interpretation of Benvenistes notion of inter-
subjectivity. S/He claims that Benvenistes intersubjectivity is really a close relative of objectiv-
ity (shared knowledge etc.), as the term is used in philosophy, rather than of subjectivity in
the Traugottian (or Haga) sense. Here, I still follow Traugotts interpretation of Benveniste
(Trangott & Dosher 2002: 20): Benveniste saw the SP/W-AD/R dyad as the condition or ground
for linguistic communication, and characterized this relationship as one of intersubjectivity
in communication each participant is a speaking subject who is aware of the other participant as
speaking subject. (SP/W-AD/R = speaker/writeraddressee/reader)
3. Te speakers now relates to Akatsukas (1979: 1011) notion of immediate experiencer.
Akatsuka claims that the speaker cannot express disparagement of himself at the speakers now,
when he is an immediate experiencer as in her example (i), but he could negatively evaluate him-
self when he is not an immediate experiencer as in her example (ii).
(i) *watashi wa orokanimo yuubinya ga tegami o kaihuu-shite iru to omou. (present)
(ii) watashi wa orokanimo yuubinya ga tegami o kaihuu-shite iru to omotte ita. (past)
I stupidly mailman letters opening is that think
I stupidly {(i) think/(ii) thought} the mailman {(i) is/(ii) was} opening our mail.
Te speakers now is also analogous to Nakaus (1979: 235238) notion of the speakers instanta-
neous present. Te simple present tense omou refers to the speakers instantaneous present, while
the progressive, omotte-iru does not. Te negation of the former is impossible as in (iii), but the
latter can be negated, as in (iv) (Both are Nakaus examples with my gloss and translation).
(iii) * watashi wa Ann wo shoojikida to omou no dewa-nai.
(iv) watashi wa Ann wo shoojikida to omotte-iru no dewa-nai.
I top obj honest comp think that is not
Its not that I (iii) think/(iv) am thinking that Ann is honest.
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar 8
common and pervasive belief among Japanese researchers in this camp is that
Japanese is so imbued with subjectivity or intersubjectivity that it is impossible to
talk about Japanese grammar (conditionals, complementizers, sentence-fnal
forms, temporals, giving-receiving verbs, conjunctions, etc.) without reference to
this key notion (see Akatsuka 1979, 1985; Iwasaki 1993; Kamio 1997; Kuno 1987;
Kuroda 1973; also Maynard 1993). For instance, Maynard (1993: 4) comments
that it is impossible to speak Japanese without expressing ones personal attitude
toward the content of information and toward the addressee.
Following the spirit of these previous studies both in Japan and the US, I will
show the benefts of adopting functional linguistic perspectives. Specifcally, this
paper will frst point out the fact that both Japanese linguist Haga and French lin-
guist Benveniste independently proposed very similar dichotomies, juttei vs. den-
tatsu (Haga 1954) and subjectivity vs. intersubjectivity (Benveniste 1971 [1958])
for their analyses of the non-propositional parts of language. Subsequently, it will
point out the relevance of these two dichotomies to syntactic organization (predi-
cate order in particular), soliloquy and dialogue (or mental and speech act) dyad,
and diachronic change (namely, the unidirectionality in grammaticalization, in
the sense of Traugott 2003). Readers should be warned that this paper is meant to
be a survey study in nature, not meant to be an original case study.
2. Subjectivity vs. intersubjectivity
Traditionally, the non-referential part of the sentence has been referred to as mo-
dality (mood) vis--vis proposition, the referential part of the sentence. Modality
is an extremely broad and general concept that includes such concepts as deontic/
epistemic distinction, epistemic qualifcation, evidentiality, mood, perspective,
and temporality (Narrog 2005). Tough these sub-concepts are useful and enlight-
ening in their own light, this paper capitalizes on subjectivity and intersubjectivity.
Tis is because it is through this concept that the intertwinedness of structure,
semantics/pragmatics, and diachrony is clearly exhibited in Japanese.
Subjectivity and intersubjectivity are defned as follows: Subjectivity denotes
the speakers attitude towards the proposition, while intersubjectivity exerts the
illocutionary force directed towards the addressee.
In Japanese linguistics, Haga
4. Te following defnitions on subjectivity may serve as a useful reference for (inter)subjec-
Lyons (1982: 102) the term subjectivity refers to the way in which natural languages, in
their structure and their normal manner of operation, provide for the locutionary agents ex-
pression of himself and his own attitudes and beliefs...
88 Rumiko Shinzato
Table 1. Comparison of Hagas and Benvenistes concepts
juttei judgment
= the speakers attitude
toward the proposition
dentatsu communication
= communication of proposition and
propositional attitude to the addressee
= the expression of the attitude
of the speaker with respect to the
statement he is making

= which alone makes linguistic
communication possible
(1954) frst proposed this division in chinjutsu (roughly modality). Te Japanese
terms he created are juttei for subjectivity, and dentatsu for intersubjectivity. In
Western linguistics, Benveniste (1971[1958]) recognized this distinction indepen-
dently (see Table 1 for their correspondence).
From their parallel characterizations as seen in Table 1, it becomes evident
that the key words for subjectivity and intersubjectivity are speakers attitude and
communication respectively. What is more, it also becomes apparent that the
existence of the addressee in context is essential for the latter, though it is not the
case for the former.
As will be discussed in Section 2.2, the presence or non-
presence of the addressee is critical for the mental vs. speech act verb distinction
as well as the soliloquy vs. dialogue dyad.
Having seen two extremely similar dichotomies arising from the opposite
ends of the world, one may ask if there is any relationship between subjectivity and
intersubjectivity and if there is one, what the nature of the relationship is. Traugott
and Dashers (2002: 22) view resonates through this paper: Subjectivity is a pre-
requisite to intersubjectivity, inasmuch as SP/Ws attitude toward AD/Rs is a func-
tion of the perspective of SP/W (RS: SP = speaker, W = writer, AD = addressee, R
= reader). Te following two sections will demonstrate how this implicational
Finegan (1995: 1) ...expression of self and the representation of a speakers (or, more
generally, a locutionary agents) points of view in discourse what has been called a speakers
imprint...the intersection of language structure and language use in the expression of self.
5. As an anonymous reviewer points out, this should be understood as a function of inter-
subjectivity rather than the defnition of it.
6. Verhagen (2005: 78) include two conceptualizers, the speaker and the hearer, in his for-
mulation of the construal confguration, and claims as far as to say ...even in the absence of an
actual addressee, a speaker (for example, one making a note in a personal diary) is committed to
the assumption that her utterance is in principle interpretable by someone else sharing the
knowledge of certain conventions. Te idea that some utterance could in principle only be inter-
pretable for a single individual makes the idea that it is an instance of language void. However,
he (ibid: 18) does recognize the case where only the speaker is profled, such as the context when
the speaker utters a non-interactional sign of disgust or frustration (Yech, Damn).
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar 8
relationship is substantiated in Japanese syntax, soliloquy/dialogue dyad, and dia-
chronic change.
2.1 Predicate order
It is well recognized in traditional Japanese linguistics that Japanese predicates,
that is, verbs, auxiliaries, and sentence-fnal particles, are connected in a fxed or-
der, which is not reversible. As seen in example (1), adopted from Haga (1954), a
verb is frst followed by the sentence-fnal particle ka, expressing the speakers
doubt, and it is then followed by another sentence-fnal particle, ne, which func-
tions to form the addressee-directed question. Needless to say, the former corre-
sponds to subjectivity and the latter to intersubjectivity as defned in this paper.
(1) [[[shibai ga hajimaru] ka] ne
play sbj start Doubt/Wonder Question
[[[jojutsu] + juttei] + dentatsu]
=proposition =subjectivity =intersubjectivity
with I only Te play will start.
with I + II I wonder if the play will start.
with I + II + III (I wonder, therefore I ask) Is the play starting?
Since the reverse order, ne ka, is not possible, it follows that the speaker frst
expresses his doubt about the proposition (i.e., the play is starting), and then
directs the question to the addressee (i.e., illocutionary act of questioning). It is
evident that Japanese predicative order proceeds from proposition to subjectiv-
ity and fnally to intersubjectivity. Or, in Hagas terms, it goes from jojitsu, to
juttei, and then to dentatsu. Te strict unidirectionality observed here is consis-
tent with the implicational relationship suggested by Traugott and Dasher (2002)
as mentioned above.
Hagas view has been further explored in Minami (1974), which analyzes
Japanese sentences to be organized in a layered structure with four distinct levels
in it. In Table 2, elements in bold represent ones unique to that level and not shared
by the lower level, but included in the next higher level.
7. Haga (1954) treats ne and naa to be diferent functionally. Te former is characterized as
dentatsu intersubjective, while the latter juttei subjective. An utterance can end with the subjec-
tive elements alone.
8. Te VP in English in the early days of generative grammar is formulated as (a). In this PS
rule, the verb phrase might have been singing has a deep structure like (b), from which a surface
structure (c) is produced afer afx hopping is applied (see Binnick 1991).
o Rumiko Shinzato
Table 2. Minamis sentence production levels
Level Example
A (Nimotsu ga) Yokohama ni tsuku
(luggage sbj) at arrive
(Te luggage) will arrive at Yokohama.
B Kinou nimotsu ga Yokohama ni tsui-ta
yesterday arrive-past
Te luggage arrived at Yokohama yesterday.
C Nimotsu wa tabun kinoo Yokohama ni tsuita daroo
top probably inf
Probably, the luggage arrived at Yokohama yesterday.
D Soodana, nimotsu wa tabun kinoo Yokohama ni tsuita daroo yo
Well I-tell-you
Well, I tell you, probably, the luggage arrived at Yokohama yesterday.
Note here that Minami augmented Hagas analysis by recognizing a similar hierar-
chical order in nominal elements as well. According to Minami, levels from A to D
represent an increasing degree of sentence-hood (bunrashisa). Tat is, level D rep-
resents a syntactically more complex, and semantically richer sentence than level
A. Note also that Minamis levels C and D correspond to Hagas juttei and dentatsu,
or subjectivity and intersubjectivity respectively.
Te layered structure advanced in traditional Japanese linguistics fnds its
counterpart in Role and Reference Grammar (Foley & Van Valin 1984), Hengevelds
(2005 [1989]) layered model, and Rijkhofs (2002) model of noun phrase and verb
phrase correspondence. In Hengevelds layered model (2005 [1989]: 56), four dif-
ferent operators are nestled in a structure as in Figure 1.
a. VP Tense (Modal) (have + en) (be +ing) V
b. VP Past may have en be ing sing
c. VP may + Past have be + en sing + ing
Tis elegant and simplistic treatment of the English VP with enormous generative power
appeared extremely attractive and convincing to students. Attractive and workable though it
may be at a purely syntactic and mechanical level, placing the precedence of tense over modal
is counterintuitive on semantic grounds. As Nakau (1979: 225229) rightfully argues (see
footnote 2), modality (i.e., subjectivity as used in this paper) is only concerned with speakers
instantaneous present, thus it is outside the scope of tense. Te Japanese predicative order cor-
roborates this. Tense belongs to Minamis B level, but modality is an element of C level. Te evi-
dential/epistemic mood tense in scope is claimed in Cinques (1999) cross-linguistic study of
adverbs as well. In addition, Bybee & Paglincas (1985: 3335, 196200) research fnds that of
ffy languages, all but one conform to the same scope relation (mood tense).
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar :
: [
ILL (S) (A) (
: [proposition] (X
))] (E
: [

) (X
)] (e

: Predicate operators

: Predication operators
: Illocution operators

: Proposition operators
Figure 1. Hengevelds model (2005 [1989]: 5)
Te defnitions of the operators from the innermost
to the outermost
given in (2):
(2) Predicate operators (
) capture the grammatical means which specify ad-
ditional properties of the set of SoAs (RS: state of afairs) by a bare predi-
Predication operators (
) capture the grammatical means which locate
the SoAs designated by a predication in a real or imaginary world and thus
restrict the set of potential referents of the predication to the external
situation(s) the speaker has in mind.
Proposition operators (
) capture the grammatical means through which
the speaker specifes his attitude towards the (truth of the) proposition he
puts forward for consideration.
Illocution operators (
) capture the grammatical means through which
the speaker modifes the force of the basic illocution of a linguistic expres-
sion so as to make it ft his communicative strategy.
It is interesting to see that his proposition and illocution operators parallel Hagas
juttei and dentatsu and Benvenistes subjectivity and intersubjectivity dyads. Just as
Hagas juttei and Benvenistes subjectivity are concerned with the speakers attitude
towards the proposition (cf. Table 1), so are Hengevelds proposition operators.
Similarly, as Hagas dentatsu and Benvenistes intersubjectivity put the communi-
cative aspect of language use in focus, so do Hengevelds illocution operators. In
addition, the hierarchical relationship held between them (Illocution operators
Proposition operators) is also consistent with that of intersubjectivity (dentatsu)
subjectivity (juttei).
In Minamis model, the nominal elements unique to each level have close se-
mantic relationships with their corresponding predicate elements in the same
level (cf. Table 2). For instance, at Level B, kinoo yesterday is in a natural liaison
with the past tense marker, -ta. Similarly, at Level C, the modal adverb, tabun
probably readily connects to the inferential auxiliary, daroo, and the same is true
for the semantic tie between the discourse marker, soodana well and the interper-
sonal particle, yo. We also fnd in Rijkhofs (2002) model (cf. the top half of
i Rumiko Shinzato










iterative, etc.
aspect tense VERB
adverbs/adverbials of:
speed, etc. frequency
NOUN lexical
Rel. cl
NP, etc.
Figure 2. Symmetry in the underlying structure of the clause and the NP Rijkhof
(2002: 224)
Figure 2)
similar bi-directional extensions, as in
(=qualifying clause operator)
corresponding to
(=qualifying clause sattellite). Rijkhof (2002: 216) states that
in the layered model elements of the linguistic expression that belong together
semantically also occur together in the underlying structure of that linguistic ex-
pression. Tus, he contends that verbal aspects
and adverbs of manner and
come closest to the semantic nucleus, the verb.
In addition, Rijkhof also recognizes a similar bidirectional extension in NP (the
bottom half of Figure 2). He sees that as the verb phrase expresses a verbal aspect
(Aktionsart= mode of action), a noun phrase represents a nominal aspect (Seinsart=
mode of being) and both are semantically parallel. Te symmetry between NPs and
clauses proposed by Rijkhof neatly illustrates that the orders in NP and the clause
are not only fxed, but also organized by the same principles. He names three such
principles: principle of domain integrity, principle of head proximity, and principle
of scope. What underlies these, according to Rijkhof (2002: 253), is a more general
9. In Rijkhofs later model (2005: 87), two more layers are added: Kind in the inner layer of
Scope and Discourse-Referential in the outer layer of Location.
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar
iconic principle that states what belongs together semantically is also placed to-
gether syntactically.
Te quality of a noun is more or less its inherent or character-
istic properties which relate only to a nominal head, while quantity and location are
non-inherent and external features of a referent (ibid: 220).
Another signifcant contribution in this connection is ofered by Nuyts who
argues that her hierarchical relationship below (2001: 347)
stems from difer-
ences in conceptualization and cognition.
(3) evidentiality
epistemic modality
deontic modality
quantifcational aspect
qualifcational aspect
In the above cline from the bottom end to the top end, Nuyts sees the gradual
broadening of scope to correlate with widening scope of the state of afairs in-
volved, as in the relation between participants (lower level) state of afairs as a
whole (medium level) external situation (higher level). Cognitively, Nuyts inter-
prets the cline (from bottom to top) to be representing (ibid: 355) a decreasing
role of direct perception of the state of afairs, and an increasing role for interpreta-
tion and creative involvement on the part of the speaker. In other words, the low-
er ends on the ladder indicate what the speaker directly perceived, while the high-
er ends exhibit abstract deductive reasoning from perceptions of other states of
afairs. Te increasing involvement of the speaker towards the higher end is ex-
tremely reminiscent of the Japanese predicate order, especially the hierarchical
relationship between proposition subjectivity, as Nuyts quantifcational/qualif-
cational aspect is considered to be in the domain of proposition, while epistemic
modality clearly belongs to the subjective domain involving the speaker. As noted
with examples (6), Nuyts projection of the hierarchical relationship between men-
tal and speech act verbs is also consistent with subjectivity intersubjectivity.
Summing up this section, it was demonstrated that both Western and Japanese
linguistics recognized the concepts of subjectivity and intersubjectivity and
10. Similarly, Narrog (2002: 233) also views the correlation between structural and semantic
hierarchy in Japanese to be grounded in Givns (1995: 51) proximity principle: Entities that are
closer together functionally, conceptually, or cognitively will be placed together at the code level,
i.e. temporally or spatially.
11. Te hierarchical relationship presented here is the same in content, but slightly diferent in
appearance from its original. Her horizontal layout is replaced by a vertical one, and her symbol
> is replaced by to avoid confusion since the > is used to indicate the directionality of a
diachronic change in this paper.
| Rumiko Shinzato
consistently represented their scope relation as intersubjectivity subjectivity in a
hierarchical structure. Accounts for such fxed orders based on iconicity and cog-
nition were also provided. Te next section explores the relevance of the subjectiv-
ity vs. intersubjectivity dyad to semantic/pragmatic dichotomies.
2.2 Mental vs. speech act verb dichotomy
2.2.1 Implicational relationship between mental and speech act verbs
Te implicational relationship held between subjectivity and intersubjectivity also
has a bearing on the mental vs. speech act verb relationship. From the subjectivity
and intersubjectivity dyad as described in Table 1, it is a very small leap to associ-
ate it with the mental and speech act verb opposition, or I think X and I say X
contrast. It is also natural to wonder if the same heirarchical relationship (inter-
subjectivity subjectivity) holds true for the mental and speech act verb relation-
ship. Indeed, such an implicational relationship is observed in these two distinct
types of verbs.
Both Leech (1983) and Nakau (1994) claim that what speech act verbs refer to
meta-implicate what is described by mental verbs. For instance, Nakau (1994: 85)
ofers the following implicational relationship as in (4).
(4) Speech act verbs Mental verbs
a. I say/state/assert/claim/tell you (that) I believe (that)
b. I ask (you) inquire/question (wh-) I wonder (wh-)
c. I promise (to do) I intend (to do)
d. I order (you to do) I want (you to do)
e. I confrm (that) I know (that)
f. I deny (that) I doubt (that)
Nakau explains that in order to declare Gus guilt in (5b), the speaker has to frst
believe in that proposition. Likewise he maintains that one asks a question about
something, because one wonders about it (cf. the example in [1] where ka wonder
is followed by ne ask)
. In other words, what is embodied in mental verbs is a
prerequisite for the acts denoted by their corresponding speech acts to take place.
(5) a. I believe that Gus is guilty.
b. I assert that Gus is guilty.
12. Te structural hierarchy and scope increase in grammaticalization are discussed in more
detail in Shinzato (2007).
13. For a more elaborate study of mental and speech act verbs such as their structural parallel,
semantic proximity and implicational relationship, please refer to Shinzato (2004).
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar ,
Undoubtedly, the embeddability of mental verbs in speech act verbs, but not vice
versa, is also observed in English, thus furthering the point above. Nuyts (2001:
318) observes that on semantic grounds, (6a) is plausible, but (6b) is not:
(6) a. I say that I think that they have run out of fuel.
I think that I say that they have run out of fuel.
2.2.2 Mental vs. speech act verb distinction to soliloquy vs. dialogue distinction
Another interesting point about the mental and speech act verb opposition is
Nakaus remark that speech act verbs always assume the existence of the underly-
ing second person you. Tis is because it is meaningless to engage in questioning,
ordering, or promising if there is no one to whom these speech acts are directed.
In principle, speech acts are communicative acts, and thus necessitate the existence
of the second person. Te absence vs. presence of the underlying you recalls the
two distinct modes of speech, namely, soliloquy and dialogue, since soliloquy re-
quires no audience, whereas dialogue does. What this leads to is the pairing of
mental verbs to soliloquy and speech act verbs to dialogue. In fact, whether a prop-
osition can be embedded in ~to omou I think that ~ serves as a diagnostic test for
whether or not it can be uttered in soliloquy (see Nitta 1991, Moriyama 1997).
Two volitional expressions in Japanese show an interesting contrast with regard
to the embeddability in omou I think. Te plain verb, expressing volition, can be
embedded in omou as in (7), but when the plain verb is annexed by tsumori da in-
tend to~, it can not be embedded in omou I think, but can be in iu I say as shown
in (8). What can be embedded in omou is apparently something which goes through
the speakers mind privately, and thus it can be uttered in soliloquy. In contrast,
what is embedded in iu I say is what is to be uttered to someone in dialogue.
(7) Ore wa itsuka yatsu o nagutte-yaru to omotta.
I top someday him obj hit-give comp thought
I thought Id hit him some day.
(8) Boku wa ganbaru tsumorida to (*omotta/itta).
I top try hard intend to comp thought/said
I (thought/said) that I intend to try hard.
Japanese lexical sensitivity to the soliloquy/dialogue opposition is also seen in the
two distinct question particles in Old Japanese (OJ). Te two OJ question particles,
namely ka and ya, are a case in point. It is generally agreed that ka forms a self-
inquiry, doubt, or wonder, while ya makes an other-inquiry (see Ono, 1993;
Sakakura 1993; Serafm & Shinzato 2000; Shinzato & Serafm 2003, 2013). Ayuhi-
sho, a grammar book written in 1778 (quoted in Ono 1993) diferentiates the two
as omohu wonder/doubt and tohu ask. Similarly, Sakakura (1993) notes that ka
o Rumiko Shinzato
frequently cooccurs with omou as in ~ka to omou I wonder if , whereas ~ya is
coupled with tohu I ask as in ~ya to tohu I ask if . Observe examples (9) and (10)
(9) Wa ga seko ni mata ha aha-ji ka to omohe-ba
my love dat again top see-neg kp comp think-if
ka kesa no wakare no sube nakari-tsuru
kp this morning s parting sbj helpless-perf
I wonder if it is because I think I wont see my love again that the parting
this morning was (so) helplessly (sad). (Manyooshuu 540)
(10) Hatsusegaha haya-mi hayase wo musubi-agete
fast-since water obj scoop
aka-zu-ya imo to tohi-shi kimi ha mo
satisfy-neg-kp my love comp ask-past you top emph
Since Hatsuse rapids were fast, you scooped the water (for me with your
hands and asked, My love, you havent had enough (water), have you?
(Have it to your hearts content) (Manyooshuu 1452)
In Okinawan, a sister language to OJ, sentence-internal ga and sentence-fnal i (the
cognates of the OJ kakari particles, ka and ya respectively) unexceptionally form
self-directed vs. other-directed questions.
Consequently, ga can be uttered in so-
liloquy, but i has to be directed to an interlocutor in a dialogue.
Te mental vs. speech act verb contrast of want and order is also lexicalized in
OJ as the irrealis + na vs. irrealis + ne. Te former expresses the speakers wish/
hortation, while latter indicates his request toward the addressee (Tanabe 1953;
Morishige 1971; Yamaguchi 1985).
(11) Yamatachibana wo tsutoni tsumi-ko-na.
mountain orange obj gif pick-come-na
I wish to go pick mountain oranges for a gif (to someone).
(Manyooshuu 4471)
(12) Hitome mi ni ko-ne.
just once see to come-ne
Just once, come see it. (Manyooshuu 4077)
Tese lexicalized forms did not survive into Middle Japanese (9C~). But their
cognates in Okinawan, that is, the irrealis form + na and the irrealis form + i, are
still extant, and express the same contrast of the speakers intention vs. the request
14. Together with a wh-word, the sentence-fnal ga forms a wh-question directed to the ad-
dressee, complementing i, which only forms a yes/no question. Tis ga is diferentiated from the
sentence-internal KP ga. For more detailed discussion, see Shinzato and Serafm (2000).
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar
for the addressee. Tat is, the mental vs. speech act verb contrast of want and
order is readily seen in Okinawan cognates of OJ irrealis + na vs. irrealis + ne.
Needless to say, the Okinawan irrealis + i cannot be uttered in soliloquy, but only
in dialogue.
In Modern Japanese, the sentence-fnal particle ne is noted for its function to
build collaboration, cooperation, and confrmation with the addressee (Saji 1957,
Cook 1989, inter alia). In this context, it is illuminating to observe two experimen-
tal studies done on this particle. Tsuchii and Omori (2000) explored the frequency
of the use of ne in relation to aizuchi, chiming-in, or back-channeling. In Japanese
discourse, it is commonplace for the listener to signal his/her attentiveness and
involvement (i.e., I am listening) by nodding his/her head frequently (cf. Mizutani
1981). In Tsuchii and Omoris study, two control groups were formed unbeknownst
to the participants (students). When students presented their research to their
teacher, the teacher was instructed to limit chiming-in gestures in the frst group,
while this restriction was lifed for the second group. Tsuchii and Omoris study
found that the students in the frst group (without chiming-in) used ne at a notice-
ably higher frequency rate than the students in the second group. Tey interpret
this diference as follows: when the expected signal is not sent by the listener (the
teacher), the speaker senses some oddity about his interaction, and thus is com-
pelled to use ne more ofen to remedy the awkward situation and establish a healthy
speaker-listener interaction. Watamaki (1997) analyzed tape-recorded conversa-
tion data between a care-taker and two children: a child with mental retardation,
and a child with autism. Te fnding of this study is that the child with mental re-
tardation used ne frequently just like a normal child, but the autistic child did not
use ne at all. Tis diference was only observable for ne, and not for the other par-
ticles. Watamaki interprets this as the result of impairment of interpersonal skills
in the autistic children. What these two studies illustrate is the highly interper-
sonal and intersubjective nature of ne, in accordance with Hagas characterization
of its function as dentatsu communication.
What emerges from this subsection is a three-way relationship as summarized
in Table 3, in which the subjectivity/intersubjectivity opposition relates to the
mental/speech act verb dichotomy, by way of which the subjectivity/intersubjec-
tivity dyad further parallels the soliloquy/dialogue distinction.
Table 3. Tree-way correspondence
subjectivity mental verbs soliloquy
intersubjectivity speech act verbs dialogue
8 Rumiko Shinzato
Tough the mental vs. speech act verb distinction, or the soliloquy vs. dialogue
dyad, could hardly become objects of serious research in formalist linguistics, in
cognitive linguistics, the subjectivity vs. intersubjectivity dyad made an inroad
into research. According to Evans (2004: 34), what he calls subjective information
(information of internal states) is encoded in body format representation, while
what he calls intersubjective information (visual-spatial information from the ex-
ternal world) is encoded in 3D format. Te former feeds into the latter, which is
further elaborated as a conceptual system, then as a linguistic system. Tis also
shows the far-reaching nature of the notions of subjectivity and intersubjectivity.
2.3 Unidirectionality in grammaticalization
Te previous sections discussed the heirarchical and implicational relationship
between subjectivity and intersubjectivity in a synchronic frame. Tis section
points out its additional relevance to diachronic change, especially to the unidirec-
tionality in grammaticalization. Not surprisingly, the subjectivity/intersubjectivity
dichotomy fnds its counterpart in grammaticalization theory as subjectifcation/i
ntersubjectifcation, which Traugott (2003: 128) defnes as follows:
(13) ...while subjectifcation is a mechanism whereby meanings become more
deeply centered on the speaker, intersubjectifcation is a mechanism
whereby meanings become more centered on the addressee....Te hypoth-
esis is that, for any lexeme L, intersubjectifcation is historically later than
and arises out of subjectifcation.
A perfect example of the shif from subjectifcation to intersubjectifcation comes
from Japanese as in the development of mental verbs into speech act verbs. Traugott
and Dasher (1987: 570) note the following development (MV and SAV stand for
mental verb and speech act verb respectively).
(14) kotowaru: attested as MV meaning <<discern, discriminate>> from the
8th C, and a SAV with the meanings <<give reasons, apologize>> from the
late 12th C, <<announce judgement>> from the late 13th C. Te present
meaning <<refuse>> is attested from the mid 19th C.
mitomeru: mi-miru <<see>> + tomeru <<stop>> attested as a MV mean-
ing <<recognize>> from the 13th C, and as a SAV from the 17th C.
A similar path is also observed in the English verb, fnd, as below:
(15) fnd: appears from OE on as a MV; does not appear as SAV until 1400, and
then only in legal contexts (e.g. fnd guilty means <<determine and declare
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar
Referring to such a unidirectional developmental path, they (ibid: 570) state:
(16) Being in a certain state of mind is a prerequisite for a speech act... claim
involves the speakers belief in the proposition, order involves the speakers
desire for the addressee to do whatever is named in the proposition...
Note that their remark is strikingly similar to Nakaus implicational relationship
(cf. example 4), and in line with the Japanese predicative order (cf. example 1).
In this junction, it should be mentioned that Romaine and Lange (1991: 265)
follows Traugott and Dasher (1987) in hypothesizing that the expression, be like
frst developed as a marker of thought as in (17), and then as a marker of speech,
as in (18).
(17) My mother said, David where are you, and he just came right out. I was
like, I thought I lost him. I really thought I lost him. (ibid: 265)
(18) I was like, Mom? She was like What! (ibid: 253)
Romaine and Lange (ibid: 243) found that in their data, like tends to be used for
self-representation, say for the speech of others, and go for both. Regarding this
statistical diference, they state, Insofar as only the speaker can have access to his/
her own thoughts, and like (rather than say or go) is more likely to be used for the
representation of thought, this trend is not surprising. Te higher rate of the oc-
currence of be like with the 1st person subject is also noted in Tagliamonte and
Hudson (1999). Afer all, we know what others are thinking from what they say,
not by our omniscient power.
Another relevant mental vs. speech act contrast can be seen in the develop-
mental history of I see you see. According to OED, I see as in the sense of under-
stand, that is, the next stage of development from its concrete visual perception
sense, was attested around 15C as in (19), while you see as an interpersonal dis-
course marker appeared around 17C as in (20). Tis again conforms to the direc-
tionality of subjectifcation > intersubjectifcation.
(19) Now I see and vnderstande that myn old synne hyndereth me and shameth
me. (147085 MALORY Arthur XIII. xix. 639)
(20) Because, you see, the present Government has 1,900,000 l.
(1657 CROMWELL Sp. 21 Apr. in Carlyle Lett. & Sp.)
Some Japanese modal auxiliaries such as rashii it appears, yooda it seems and
sooda I hear are polysemous between evidential meaning and mitigating mean-
ing. In Nittas (1992) example (21), yooda (yoo desu) has an evidential function,
indicating the proposition it appends to was yielded through the speakers inferen-
tial process based on the available information (in this case what is expressed in
the previous sentence). In contrast, the same auxiliary in (22), does not express
:oo Rumiko Shinzato
any evidential meaning, but rather it makes the tone sofer and indirect. Tus, it
concerns more with politeness than evidentiality. Needless to say, the former aligns
with mental verbs, while the latter does so with speech act verbs.
(21) Me-o-korasu to rei-no-futari ga butchouzura-de dete kita.
gaze when those two sbj serious-look came out
Doomo senka wa sappari datta yooda
Somehow results top not great was seem
When I was gazing, those two came out with a serious-look (on their
faces). It seems that the results were not that great.
(22) (Afer checking his watch to make sure the time has already passed)
Jikoku ni natta yoodesu. Honjitsu no kaigi wa kore de
time has come seem today s meeting top this with
ohiraki-ni shi tai to omoimasu.
ajourn make would like to comp think
It seems the time is up. I would like to adjourn todays meeting now.
Nitta (1992: 7) asserts that what he calls communication modality as in (22) was
developed later than judgement modality as in (21). Tough his analysis is syn-
chronic in essence, nonetheless, here again, the same directionality from mental to
speech act verbs, or subjectifcation intersubjectifcation is confrmed.

Tough not refecting the contrast between mental and speech act verbs per
se, Japanese examples such as (23) are also consistent with the unidirectionality
(subjectifcation > intersubjectifcation) under discussion. As illustrated below,
this unidirectionality is not limited to a particular part of speech, but applies to
items across the board: (a) verb; (b) formal noun; (c) clausal connective; (d) quota-
tive conditional; and (e) sentence-fnal particle. In the following examples, the ear-
lier stages depict the happenings in the speakers inner world (afect, inference,
judgement, exclamation), while the later stages exemplify other-oriented speech
acts (camaraderie, invited hearers inference, vocative, summon). Te earlier stag-
es correspond to subjectifcation, as opposed to the later ones which exhibit inter-
(23) a. te shimau (afective marker > social dialect/camaraderie)
(Strauss & Sohn 1998)
15. In the case of yooda/yoodesu, the subjective/intersubjective distinction does not seem to be
dichotomous, but rather a matter of degree. In fact, Traugott (2003: 134) also states, ...although
it may in some instances be difcult to determine whether a new meaning is strictly subjective
before it becomes intersubjective, nevertheless, nonsubjective > intersubjective > subjective is
hypothesized not to be likely.
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar :o:
b. wake (speakers inference > invited hearers inference) (Suzuki 1998);
mono (subjective judgement > amae, dependency on the addressee
(Fujii 2000)
c. demo (subjective adversative connective > discourse marker of claim-
ing foor, and changing topic) (Onodera 2004)
d. ttara (metalinguistic and subjective judgement > vocative)
(Shinzato 2007)
e. na (exclamation > summon) (Onodera 2004)
In summing up this section, it discussed the diachronic counterpart of the syn-
chronic hierarchical relation between subjectivity and intersubjectivity. Drawing
on existing studies, it demonstrated that the diachronic shif from mental verbs >
speech act verbs, and also the shif from mental acts > speech acts are prevalent in
Japanese across grammatical categories.
3. On the fundamentality of subjectivity and intersubjectivity
Te above discussions on the relevance of the notions of subjectivity/intersubjec-
tivity to Japanese syntactic organization, the mental/speech act verb diference,
soliloquy/dialogue distinction, and furthermore, the unidirectionality in gram-
maticalization lead to the close mesh of synchrony, diachrony and modes of speech.
As is well known, in some formalist frameworks, morphology is seen as autono-
mous, modular, and divorced from diachronic and comparative analyses (Aronof
1994). In the functional frameworks, morphology is viewed to be intertwined with
diachronic, psychological as well as communicative processes (Bybee et al. 1994;
Axelrod 1999). As has been substantiated on neurological grounds (see Ariel 1998:
15), it is probably true that some level of modularity or autonomy in morphology
exists. However, faced with the rigid predicate order in Japanese as well as cross-
linguistically and its interdependence with other seemingly unrelated aspects of
language, diachrony and speech modes, it is difcult, if not impossible, to ignore
such interdependence of morphology and other components of language.
16. Ariel (1998: 15) states that Fodors (1983) input-system and central system distinction may
have a neurologically based parallel: Lef brain-damaged patients have selective semantic, syn-
tactic, and morphological defcits. Right brain-damaged subjects are impaired in drawing infer-
ences based on contextual assumptions, in extracting the text macrostructure, the discourse
theme, the main point, coherent, connections among textual propositions, a distinction between
important and trivial elements, humorous points, inferences about the emotional state of others,
etc. Additionally, Cain (2002) supports the modularity of Fodors input system based on patho-
logical data. However, for a critique of Fodors theory, see Prinz (2006).
:oi Rumiko Shinzato
Table 4. Related notions and studies
Notion Applicable to: Example
ego vs. non-ego
(McCawley 1978)
no = Ss own mental state;
internalized knowledge
koto = others mental state; not
yet internalized knowledge
waga-koto my afairs vs.
hito-goto other peoples afairs
(Watanabe 1991)
adverb choice zuibun very cannot modify
waga-koto, but taihen very can.
experiencing self vs. observing
self (Shinzato 2003)
simple vs. stativized
verb form
simple tense = experiencing self;
stativized verb = observing self
uchi inside vs. soto outside
(Quinn 1994)
transitivity, aspect,
modality, nominalizers,
locative particles
ni in/at + shite mo
=even given [its] being X
to with/alongside + shite mo
=even supposing [it] to be X
seems that strict adherence to an autonomy thesis would deprive one of seeing the
richness and intriguing facts of language.
Likewise, the soliloquy and dialogue distinction has never been a concern in
formal analyses. Te sensitivity of Japanese syntax to such a distinction assures us
of the indispensability of such a notion in grammatical description. If the solilo-
quy and dialogue distinction is viewed as the diference between inside vs. outside
the speakers world, then this distinction is found relevant to such well-known no-
tions as self vs. others, or uchi inside vs. soto outside as seen in some representa-
tive studies below. As they permeate Japanese grammar so deeply, it also reminds
us that these exist for a reason. Table 4 summarizes sample works which use corol-
laries of the uchi vs. soto notion and their applicability in Japanese grammar.
McCawley (1978: 189190) observes that the complementizer no is more nat-
ural when the speakers own mental state is at issue as in (24a), but the other fac-
tive complementizer koto becomes more natural when others mental state is at
issue as in (24b).
(24) a. otoosan ga omae no koto o konnani shinpai shite
Father your matter this much worried
yatte-iru {no/ ?koto} ga mada omae ni wa wakara-n no ka?
for you yet yo to realize-not Q
Cant you see that I, your father, am this worried about you?!
b. minasan gata ga omae no koto o annani shinpai shite
everybody your matter that much worried
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar :o
kudasatte-iru {no / koto}
ga mada omae ni wa
for you yet you to
wakara-n no ka?
realize-not Q
Cant you understand yet that other people are concerned that much
about you?!
She also notes that if a piece of information such as the earth is round which the
speaker acquired from an external source is internalized, no is possible, but if it is
not yet internalized into the speakers knowledge base as in Today, I learned that the
earth is round, but I just cant believe it, then koto is possible. Watanabe (1991) ob-
serves that degree adverbs can be classifed depending on their afnity with my/
others afairs. For instance, zuibun very cannot modify my afairs such as *watashi
wa zuibun ureshii I am very happy, but it can modify a similar emotional state of
other people as in Tanaka-san wa zuibun ureshisooda It seems Tanaka is very hap-
py. In contrast, taihen very, a synonym of zuibun can modify both my and others
afairs. In a similar vein, Shinzato (2003) argues that simple tense forms are used to
express an event the speaker is experiencing, while its stativised version is used for
the event the speaker has observed. For instance, if the speaker himself is attacked,
the simple present tense as in nani o suru nda [what-OBJ-do-it is that] what are you
doing (to me)? is used; in contrast, when he catches someones unexpected behav-
ior, the stativised form as in nani o shite-iru nda [what-OBJ-do-be-it is that] what
are you doing (there)? is more likely to be used. Here again, Japanese grammars
sensitivity to self vs. others is evident. Tis territorial distinction is also seen in
Quinns (1994) account where the semantic contrast of uchi inside vs. soto outside
seen in two locative particles, ni in/at and to with/along side is carried out in sev-
eral constructions of which they are a part. To quote just one example, X ni shitemo
even given [its] being X presents presupposed, and fully internalized knowledge of
the speaker, while it is not the case with X to shite mo even supposing [it] to be X.
Seeing the correlation between synchrony, diachrony and speech modes, and
realizing what underlies such intertwinedness are the notions of subjectivity and
intersubjectivity, it would be impossible to deny the fundamentality of these no-
tions in Japanese grammar, and perhaps in the grammar of any language.
17. One may ask as to the diference between no and koto here. Tough it is not addressed
specifcally with this particular example, Akatsuka (ibid: 185) explains a similar case with the
verb matsu wait. She states that with no, the state of afairs in the complement is taken for
granted, thus, the speaker would be disappointed if it does not materialize. In contrast, with
koto, the same verb matsu is more synonymous with kitaisuru expect. Tat is, Akatsuka (ibid:
181) sees the choice between no and koto to be the diference in the degree of the speakers com-
mitment to the truth of the proposition: no indicates the speakers complete endorsement, while
koto does not show such a strong endorsement.
:o| Rumiko Shinzato
4. Conclusion
Finegan (1995) deplores the fact that the term subjectivity did not make an entry
of its own in International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, with only peripheral men-
tion of it under literary pragmatics. As discussed in this paper, faced with such
far-reaching applicability of this notion, it is clear that an attempt to construct
grammar, especially Japanese grammar, with the incorporation of subjectivity and
intersubjectivity broadens our understanding of the working of the Japanese lan-
guage. In this sense, humanistic, or better yet, real(istic) linguistics is undoubtedly
in order.
Real(istic) linguistics sees language not strictly as form nor as the ex-
pression of propositional thought, language not as autonomous structure not as
representing logical propositions, but language as an expression an incarnation,
even of perceiving, feeling, speaking subjects (ibid: 2). In this context, Beneve-
nistes words carry special weight: If LANGUAGE is, as they say, the instrument of
communication, to what does it owe this property?
COM comitative KP kakari particle
COMP complementizer NEG negative
COND conditional OBJ object
DAT dative PERF perfect
EMPH emphasis SBJ subject
INF inference SP sentence fnal particle
INT intention TOP topic
Akatsuka, Noriko. 1978. Another look at no, koto, and to: Epistemology and complementizer
choice in Japanese. In Problems in Japanese Syntax and Semantics, John Hinds & Irwin
Howard (eds), 178212. Tokyo: Kaitakusha.
Akatsuka, Noriko. 1979. Epistemology, Japanese syntax, and linguistic theory. Papers in Japanese
Linguistics 6: 728.
Akatsuka, Noriko. 1985. Conditionals and epistemic scale. Language 61: 625639. DOI:
18. I owe this term to Tsuyoshi Ono.
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar :o,
Ariel, Mira. 1998. Mapping so-called pragmatic phenomena according to linguistic-extralin-
guistic distinction. In Functionalism and Formalism in Linguistics, Vol. II: Case Studies
[Studies in Language Companion Series 42] Michael Darnell, Edith A. Moravcsik, Michael
Noonan, Frederick J. Newmeyer & Kathleen Wheatley (eds), 1138. Amsterdam: John
Aronof, Mark. 1994. Morphology by Itself. Cambridge MA: Te MIT Press.
Axelrod, Melissa. 1999. Lexis, grammar and grammatical change. In Functionalism and Formal-
ism in Linguistics, Vol. II: Case Studies [Studies in Language Companion Series 42] Michael
Darnell, Edith A. Moravcsik, Michael Noonan, Frederick J. Newmeyer & Kathleen Wheatley
(eds), 3958. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Benveniste, Emile. 1958 [Tr. 1971]. Problems in General Linguistics, trans. by Mary Elizabeth
Meek. Coral Gables FL: University of Miami Press
Binnick, Robert I. 1991. Time and the Verb: A Guide to Tense and Aspect. Oxford: OUP.
Bhler, Karl. 1934 [Tr. 1990]. Teory of Language: Te Representational Function of Language,
trans. by Donald Fraser Goodwin. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Bybee, Joan L. & Pagliuca, William. 1985. Cross-linguistic comparison and the development of
grammatical meaning. In Historical Semantics: Historical Word-Formation, Jacek Fisiak
(ed.), 5983. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Bybee, Joan L., Perkins, Revere & Pagliuca, William. 1994. Te Evolution of Grammar: Tense,
Aspect, and Modality in the Languages of the World. Chicago IL: Te University of Chicago
Cain, Mark J. 2002. Fodor: Language, Mind and Philosophy [Key Contemporary Tinkers].
Oxford: Blackwell.
Cinque, Guglielmo. 1999. Adverbs and Functional Heads: A Cross-linguistic Perspective [Oxford
Studies in Comparative Syntax]. Oxford: OUP.
Cook, Haruko Minegishi. 1989. Te sentence-fnal particle ne as a tool for cooperation in
Japanese conversation. Japanese/Korean Linguistics 1: 2944.
Duchan, Judith F., Bruder, Gail A. & Hewitt, Lynn E. 1995. Deixis in Narrative: A Cognitive Sci-
ence Approach. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Evans, Vyvyan. 2004. Te Structure of Time: Language, Meaning and Temporal Cognition [Human
Cognitive Processing 12]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/hcp.12
Finegan, Edward. 1995. Subjectivity and subjectivisation: An introduction. In Subjectivity and
Subjectivisation: Linguistic perspectives, Stein Dieter & Susan Wright (eds), 115. Cambridge:
CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511554469.001
Fodor, Jerry. 1983. Te Modularity of Mind. Cambridge MA: Te MIT Press.
Foley, William & Van Valin Jr., Robert D. 1984. Functional Syntax and Universal Grammar.
Cambridge: CUP.
Fujii, Seiko. 2000. Incipient decategorization of MONO and grammaticalization of speaker at-
titude in Japanese discourse. In Pragmatic Markers and Propositional Attitude [Pragmatics
& Beyond New Series 79], Gisle Andersen & Torstein Fretheim (eds), 85118. Amsterdam:
John Benjamins.
Givn, Talmy. 1982. Logic vs. pragmatics, with human language as the referee: Toward an em-
pirically viable epistemology. Journal of Pragmatics 6: 81113. DOI: 10.1016/0378-
Givn, Talmy. 1995. Functionalism and Grammar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/
Haga, Yasushi. 1954. Chinjutsu to wa nanimono? Kokugo Kokubun 23: 4761.
:oo Rumiko Shinzato
Hayashi, Makoto. 2003. Joint Utterance Construction in Japanese Conversation [Studies in Dis-
course and Grammar 12]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/sidag.12
Hengeveld, Kees. 2005 [1989]. Layers and operators in functional grammar. In Crucial Readings
in Functional Grammar, Matthew P. Anstey & J. Lachlan Mackenzie (eds), 140. Berlin:
Mouton de Gruyter. DOI: 10.1515/9783110901191.1
Hopper, Paul J. 1997. Dispersed verbal predicates in vernacular written narrative. In Directions
in Functional Linguistics [Studies in Language Companion Series 36], Akio Kamio (ed.),
118. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Iwasaki, Shoichi. 1993. Subjectivity in Grammar and Discourse: Teoretical Considerations and a
Case Study of Japanese Spoken Discourse [Studies in Discourse and Grammar 12]. Amster-
dam: John Benjamins.
Kamio, Akio. 1997. Territory of Information. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/
Kuno, Susumu. 1987. Functional Syntax: Anaphora, Discourse, Empathy. Chicago IL: University
of Chicago Press.
Kuroda, Sige-Yuki. 1973. Where epistemology, style and grammar meet: A case study from
Japanese. In A Festschrif for Morris Halle, Stephen R. Anderson & Paul Kiparsky (eds),
377391. New York NY: Rinehart and Winston.
Langacker, Ronald. 1991. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol. II. Stanford CA: Stanford
University Press.
Laury, Ritva & Ono, Tsuyoshi. 2005. Data is data and model is model: You dont discard the data
that doesnt ft your model! Language 81(1): 218225. DOI: 10.1353/lan.2005.0026
Leech, Geofrey N, 1983. Principles of Pragmatics. London: Longman.
Lyons, John, 1977. Semantics, Vol. 2. Cambridge: CUP.
Lyons, John. 1982. Deixis and subjectivity: Loquor, ergo sum? In Speech, Place, and Action,
Robert J. Jarvella & Wolfgang Klein (eds), 101124. New York NY: John Wiley & Sons.
Lyons, John. 1995. Linguistics Semantics: An Introduction. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/
McCawley, Noriko A. 1978. Epistemology and Japanese syntax: Complementizer choice. CLS
14: 272284.
Maynard, Senko K. 1993. Discourse: Modality: Subjectivity, Emotion and Voice in Japanese Lan-
guage [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 24]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/
Maynard, Senko K. 2002. Linguistic Emotivity: Centrality of Place, the Topic-Comment Dynamic,
and an Ideology of Pathos in Japanese Discourse [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 97],
Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/pbns.97
Minami, Fujio. 1974. Gendai Nihongo no Koozoo Tokyo: Taishukan Shoten.
Mizutani, Osamu. 1981. Japanese: Te Spoken Language in Japanese Life. Tokyo: Japan Times.
Morishige Satoshi. 1971. Nihon Bumpoo no Sho-mondai. Tokyo: Kasama Shoin.
Moriyama, Takuro. 1997. Hitorigoto o megutte. Nihongo Bumpoo: Taikei to Hoohoo, Yoshiaki
Kawabata & Yoshio Nitta (eds), 173188. Tokyo: Hituzi Shobo.
Mushin, Ilana. 2001. Evidentiality and Epistemological Stance Narrative Retelling [Pragmatics &
Beyond New Series 97]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/pbns.87
Nakau, Minoru. 1994. Principles of Cognitive Semantics. Tokyo: Taishukan Shoten.
Nakau, Minoru. 1979. Modaritii to meidai. Eigo to Nihongo to Hayashi Eiichi Kyooju Kanreki
Kinen Ronbunshuu, Hayashi Eiichi Kyooju Kanreki Kinen Ronbunshuu Kankoo Iinkai
(eds), 223250. Tokyo: Kuroshio Shuppan.
Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar :o
Narrog, Heiko. 2002. Imironteki kategorii toshite no modaritii. Cognitive Linguistics II: Catego-
rization, Toshio Ohori (ed.), 217251. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
Narrog, Heiko. 2005. On defning modality again. Language Sciences 27(2): 165192. DOI:
Nitta, Yoshio. 1991. Ishi no hyoogen to kikite sonzai. Kokugogaku 165: 113.
Nitta, Yoshio. 1992. Handan kara hatsuwa dentatsu e Denbun enkyoku hyoogen o chuushin ni
-. Nihongo Kyoiku 77: 113.
Nuyts, Jan. 2001. Epistemic Modality, Language, and Conceptualization [Human Cognitive Pro-
cessing 5]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/hcp.5
Ono, Susumu. 1993. Kakari Musubi no Kenkyuu. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Onodera, Noriko O. 2004. Japanese Discourse Markers. Synchronic and Diachronic Discourse
Markers [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 132]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI:
Onoe, Keisuke. 2001[1990]. Bunpoo-ron Chinjutsuron no tanjoo to shuuen. Bunpoo to Imi,
278300. Tokyo: Kurohio Shuppan.
Onoe, Keisuke. 2001[1998]. Ichigo-bun no yoohoo: Ima/koko o hanarenai bun no kentoo no
tame ni. Bunpoo to Imi, 217229. Tokyo: Kurohio Shuppan.
Prevignano, Carlo L. & Tibault, Paul J. 2003. Discussing Conversation Analysis: Te Work of
Emanuel A. Scheglof. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/z.118
Prinz, Jessee J. 2006. Is the mind really modular? In Contemporary Debates in Cognitive Science,
Robert J. Stainton (ed.), 2236. Oxford: Blackwell.
Quinn, Charles J. 1994. UCHI/SOTO: Tip of a semiotic iceberg? Inside and outside knowledge
in the grammar of Japanese. In Situated Meaning: Inside and Outside in Japanese Self, Soci-
ety, and Language, Jane Bachnik & Charles Quinn Jr. (eds), 247294. Princeton NJ: Princ-
eton University Press.
Rijkhof, Jan. 2002. Te Noun Phrase. Oxford: OUP. DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198237822.0
Rijkhof, Jan. 2005. Layers, levels and contexts in Functional Discourse Grammar. In Te Noun
Phrases in Functional Discourse Grammar, Daniel Garca Velasco & Jan Rijkhof (eds), 63
115. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Romaine, Suzanne & Lange, Deborah. 1991. Te use of like as a marker of reported speech and
thought: A case of grammaticalization in progress. American Speech 66: 227279. DOI:
Saji, Keizo. 1957. Shuujoshi no kinoo. Kokugo Kokubun 26: 2331.
Sakakura, Atsuyoshi. 1993. Nihongo Hyoogen no Nagare. [Iwanami Seminaa Bukkusu 45].
Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Selting, Margret & Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth. 2001. Studies in Interactional Linguistics [Studies
in Discourse and Grammar 10]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/sidag.10
Serafm, Leon A. & Shinzato, Rumiko. 2000. Reconstructing the Proto-Japonic kakari musubi,
*ka-(a)m-wo. Gengo Kenkyu 118: 81118.
Shinzato, Rumiko. 2003. Experiencing self vs. observing self: Te semantics of stative extensions
in Japanese. Language Sciences 25: 211238. DOI: 10.1016/S0388-0001(01)00025-0
Shinzato, Rumiko. 2004. Some observations concerning mental and speech act verbs. Journal of
Pragmatics 36(5): 883897. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-2166(03)00002-X
Shinzato, Rumiko. 2007. (Inter)subjectifcation, Japanese syntax and scope increase. Journal of
Historical Pragmatics 8(2): 171206. DOI: 10.1075/jhp.8.2.03shi
:o8 Rumiko Shinzato
Shinzato, Rumiko & Serafm, Leon A. 2003. Kakari musubi in comparative perspective: Old
Japanese ka/ya and Okinawan -ga/-i. Japanese/Korean Linguistics 11: 189202.
Shinzato, Rumiko & Serafm, Leon A. 2013. Synchrony and Diachrony of Okinawan Kakari-
musubi in Comparative Perspective with Premodern Japanese. Leiden: Brill.
Strauss, Susan & Sohn, Sung-ock. 1998. Grammaticalization, aspect, and emotion: Te case of
Japanese -te shimau and Korean -ia/e pelita. Japanese/Korean Linguistics 8: 217230.
Suzuki, Ryoko. 1998. From a lexical noun to an utterance-fnal pragmatic particles: Wake. In Stud-
ies in Japanese Grammaticalization, Toshio Ohori (ed.), 6792. Tokyo: Kuroshio Publishers.
Suzuki, Satoko (ed.). 2006. Emotive Communication in Japanese [Pragmatics & Beyond New
Series 151]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/pbns.151
Tagliamonte, Sali & Hudson, Rachel. 1999. Be like et al. beyond America: Te quotative system
in British and Canadian youth. Journal of Sociolinguistics 3(2): 147172. DOI: 10.1111/1467-
Tanabe, Masao. 1953. Iwayuru atsurae no joshi namu nit suite. In Kindaichi Hakase Koki Kinen
Gengo Minzoku Ronsoo, Masayo Tanabe (ed.) 477504. Tokyo: Sanseido.
Tokieda, Motoki. 1941. Kokugogaku Genron. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs. 2003. From subjectifcation to intersubjectifcation. In Motives for
Language Change, Raymond Hickey (ed.), 124139. Cambridge: CUP.
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs & Dasher, Richard. 1987. On the historical relation between mental
and speech act verbs in English and Japanese. In Papers from the Seventh International Con-
ference on Historical Linguistics [Current Issues in Linguistic Teory 48], Anna Giacalone
Ramat, Onofrio Carruba & Giuliano Bernini (eds), 561573. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Traugott, Elizabeth Closs & Dasher, Richard. 2002. Regularity in Semantic Change. Cambridge:
Tsuchii, Shoichi & Omori, Akira. 2000. Aizuchi o toosei-shita komyunikeeshon ni okeru joshi
ne no hindo no henka. Ninchi Kagaku 7(1): 107111.
Verhagen, Arie. 2005. Constructions of Intersubjectivity. Oxford: OUP.
Watamaki, Toru. 1997. Lack of the particle-ne in conversation by a child with autism: A case
study. Hattatsu ShogaiKenkyu 19: 146157.
Watanabe, Minoru. 1953. Jojutsu to chinjutsu - Jutsugo bunsetsu no koozoo. Kokugogaku 1314:
Watanabe, Minoru. 1991. Wagakoto-hitogoto no kanten to bunpooron. Kokugogaku 165: 114.
Watanabe, Minoru. 1995. Tokoro to toki no shitei ni kakawaru go no ikutsuka Imiron-teki ni.
Kokugogaku 181: 1819.
Yamaguchi, Yoshinori. 1985. Kodai Nihongo Bumpoo no Seiritsu no Kenkyuu. Tokyo: Yuseido.
What typology reveals about modality
in Japanese
A cross-linguistic perspective*
Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
Tis paper presents a functional-typological analysis of three linguistic
manifestations of modality-related phenomena in Japanese. When compared
with English, German, and Korean, Japanese is characterized by a modal
system that encodes event, epistemic, and evidential modalities, and a relatively
impoverished grammatical mood, as well as a rich discourse system of sentence-
fnal particles that can be grouped into speaker-oriented and hearer-oriented
particles. Te modality system in Japanese demonstrates a relatively high
degree of elaboration in formal coding of evidential and discourse modalities.
Te cross-linguistic diferences in the degrees of elaboration among diferent
subcategories of modality as presented in this study require an explanation
beyond the confnes of grammar to fnd a link between grammar and other
cognitive and communicative systems.
1. Introduction
Tense, aspect and modality, collectively referred to as TAM, are grammatical cat-
egories frequently occurring together close to the verb stem and afecting the
meaning of the co-occurring verb to varying degrees. Tere is a fundamental dif-
ference between tense and aspect, on one hand, and modality, on the other: Tense,
rather obviously, is concerned with the time of the event, while aspect is concerned
with the nature of the event, particularly in terms of its internal temporal con-
stituency (Comrie 1976: 3). (...) Modality difers from tense and aspect in that it
* Tis research was supported in part by grants from the Tohoku University 21st Century
Program in Humanities <>. Special thanks are due to Yoshi Ono and Kaori
Kabata for organizing the Functional Approaches to Japanese Grammar conference (U. of
Alberta, August 2004) and ofering extensive constructive criticism and helpful comments.
Tanks also go to Andrew Barke, Robin Coogan, Nathan Hamlitsch, Ahran Kim, Sujin oh and
Ryan Spring, for their editorial assistance.
::o Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
does not refer directly to any characteristic of the event, but simply to the status of
the proposition. Modality is a semantic category concerned with the status of the
proposition that describes the event, the term proposition covering events, ac-
tions, situations, states, etc. (Palmer 2001: 1). Te semantic category of modality
is manifested grammatically in two major ways: (i) modal systems most typi-
cally illustrated by modal verbs, and (ii) mood most typically illustrated by in-
dicative vs. subjunctive moods (Palmer 2001).
Bybees seminal work on verbal afx ordering (Bybee 1985) presents a similar
observation that, among the three categories, aspect and tense are more relevant to
(or more directly afect) the meaning of the verb than mood, the latter broadly
corresponding to (ii) above. Crucially, this relative ordering in terms of semantic
relevance is refected in the ordering of aspect and tense afxes, which tend to be
placed more closely to the verb stem than mood afxes.
Te fundamental diference between modality and the other two verbal cate-
gories is also refected in the degree of ubiquity of their grammaticalization path-
ways, as pointed out by Horie (1997). Horie (1997), a critique of Bybee, Perkins,
and Pagliuca (1994) noted that grammaticalization pathways proposed for Tense
and Aspect grammatical morphemes (henceforth grams; see Bybee 1985) are
more readily applicable to Japanese (e.g., be/have > Resultative > Perfective/Sim-
ple Past) than those proposed for Modality grams (e.g. Agent-oriented Modali-
ties > Epistemic Modalities). Te greater cross-linguistic variability of modality
grams can arguably be attributed to the fact that they index the speakers opinion/
attitude toward the proposition, which can be expressed in more variable ways
cross-linguistically than temporal specifcations of the event.
Tis observation is in fact echoed by Palmer (2001: 2): In all typological stud-
ies there is considerable variation in the ways in which languages deal with gram-
matical categories, and there is probably more variation with modality than with
other categories (emphasis added). Modality is thus coded in a more varied way
than are other verbal categories like tense, aspect, and voice, as the following re-
mark elucidates: Languages have at least the following means at their disposal to
express modality: (a) modal verbs, (b)verbs denoting (various modes of) knowl-
edge and belief, (c) modal adverbs, (d) modal particles, (e) evidentials, (f) gram-
matical mood. (Kiefer 1999: 223).
Te greater cross-linguistic variability of modality grams is arguably respon-
sible for the paucity of typologically oriented studies of modality in Japanese. As
a result, despite intensive scholarly eforts engendered on the minute (and me-
ticulous) analyses of Japanese modality grams by Japanese linguists for the past
twenty or so years, it remains to be seen precisely what distinguishes Japanese
modality systems from their counterparts in other languages and what is shared
between them.
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese :::
By contrasting the mood and modality system of Japanese with those of other
languages in Sections 2 and 3, which difer from Japanese typologically to varying
degrees, we address the following questions in Section 4: (i) what is unique to the
Japanese mood and modality system relative to other languages, and (ii) what mo-
tivates the grammar of a language to have the shape it does. Section 5 presents our
2. Revisiting the semantic and formal categories of modality
in Japanese: A cross-linguistic assessment
Tis section frst presents an overview of semantic categories of modality and their
formal coding in linguistic typology, and then examines the language-particular
observations of Japanese modality, presented in Japanese linguistics from a typo-
logical perspective.
2.1 Modality and its formal coding in linguistic typology
Considering the greater cross-linguistic variability of modality relative to other
grammatical categories (e.g., tense) pointed out in Section 1, it is natural that lan-
guages difer rather considerably in terms of the types of modal meaning a lan-
guage preferentially elects to encode grammatically.
As for the types of modal meaning encoded in typologically diverse languages,
Palmer (2001), in a most widely cited typological study of mood and modality,
frst draws attention to the relevance of the following semantic distinction:
(1) realis and irrealis
Regarding this distinction, Palmer (2001. 1) cites the defnition of Mithun (1999:
Te realis portrays situations as actualized, as having occurred, or actually oc-
curring, knowable through direct perception. Te irrealis portrays situations as
purely within the realm of thought, knowable only through imagination.
Tis distinction, though not directly relevant to Japanese, is known to have gram-
maticalized in many European languages typically by means of a contrast between
indicative and subjunctive mood, as in the following pair of English examples:
(2) a. Tey insisted that John was there. (indicative: realis)
b. Tey insisted that John be there. (subjunctive: irrealis)
::i Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
Another cross-linguistically relevant semantic distinction noted by Palmer is the
following one:
(3) propositional modality
event modality
Tis distinction partially overlaps with the traditional distinction between
epistemic and deontic modalities, though the former is more inclusive than the
latter. Te distinction between propositional modality and epistemic modality is
illustrated by the following pair of examples (ibid: 7, partially modifed).
(4) a. Kate may be at home now. ~ It is possible (possibly the case)
that Kate is at home now. (propositional modality)
b. Kate may come in now. ~ It is permitted for Kate to come in now. (event
(4a) describes the speakers judgment of the proposition that Kate is at home.
(4b), in contrast, depicts the speakers attitude towards a potential future event,
that of Kate coming in (ibid: 78).
Both propositional modality and event modality are further divided into sub-
categories, but we will be concerned only with the following subcategories of prop-
ositional modality in this paper:
(5) epistemic modality
evidential modality
Epistemic modality encodes speakers judgments about the factual status of the
proposition, whereas evidential modality expresses the evidence they have for its
factual status (ibid: 8). Tese two types of modality are respectively illustrated by
the following pair of Japanese examples:
(6) a. [Asu yuki-ga huru ] kamo sirenai.
tomorrow snow-nom fall it may be
It may snow tomorrow. (epistemic modality)
b. [Asu yuki-ga huru] soo da.
tomorrow snow-nom they say
I hear it will snow tomorrow. (evidential modality)
In this paper, we will examine the grammatical means of encoding the following
three types of modality:
(7) a. event modality
b. epistemic modality
c. evidential modality
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese ::
Let us now move on to the formal/coding dimension of modal meaning from a
typological perspective. Palmer notes that there are basically two ways in which
the semantic category of modality is grammatically encoded, as in (8):
(8) a. modal system
b. mood
Modal system and mood are formally coded by one of the following three gram-
matical markers according to Palmer (p.19), who notes that modal verbs seem to
be confned to modal systems:
(9) a. modal verb
b. infection
c. individual sufxes, clitics, and particles
Tough there is not a direct correspondence between modal system/mood in (8)
and their formal manifestations (9), there is a strong tendency for modal system
(8a) and mood (8b) to be coded by modal verb (9a) and infection (9b) respec-
tively. For instance, modal system (8a) is illustrated by modal auxiliaries (modal
verb) in English (4) and Japanese (6), while mood (8b) is illustrated by indicative
and subjunctive moods in English (2). Individual sufxes, clitics, and particles
(9c) can encode various modal meanings including discursive meaning and man-
ifest discourse system, which we will introduce in this section.
Te relative degrees of prominence between the two formal means can vary
between languages as observed by Palmer:
Both may occur within a single language, e.g., in German, which has a modal sys-
tem of modal verbs and mood (indicative and subjunctive), and in Central Pomo
(...). In most languages, however, only one of these devices seems to occur, or at
least, one is much more salient than the other. (p.4, emphasis added)
As we will see closely in Section 3, Japanese belongs to a group of languages where
mood is virtually absent.
2.2 Modality and its formal coding in Japanese
Having reviewed Palmers typological survey relating to the semantic and formal/
coding dimensions of modality, we are now ready to examine the language-partic-
ular notions of modality in Japanese linguistics from a typological perspective.
In Japanese linguistics, it has been customary to divide sentence structure into
two major semantic components, i.e. proposition (variously referred to as meidai
(proposition), genpyoo zitai (the state of afairs expressed) etc.) and modality
::| Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
(variously referred to as muudo (mood), genpyoo taido (the attitude with which
to express the state of afairs) etc.), as schematized and explained in (10):
(10) [Proposition] [Modality]
In modern Japanese, most researchers have come to an agreement that Japanese
sentences can be divided into a propositional content and modal content (...)
Propositional content expresses an objective statement while modal content ex-
presses a speakers subjective judgment or attitude toward the proposition. (John-
son 2003, emphasis added)
A cursory illustration of the distinction between proposition and modality is
provided by example (11) from Nitta (2000: 81), where P and M respectively
refer to the layers of proposition and modality.
(11) [M Nee tabun [P kono ame toobun yama-nai] daroo ne]
ip probably this rain for a while stop-neg it will be that ip
You see, probably it wont stop raining for a while, will it?
(Nitta 2000: 81)
Some Japanese linguists, including Yoshio Nitta and Takashi Masuoka (Nitta 1991,
2000; Masuoka 1991, 2000) propose further dividing the layer of modality into
two subcategories, i.e. modality oriented toward proposition (meidai meate no
modaritii) and modality of discourse and communication (hatuwa, dentatu no
modaritii) (see Onoe 1996 for a critique of this kind of extended view of modal-
ity). In a similar vein, Maynard (1993: 3839) introduces the notion of discourse
modality, which refers to information that does not or only minimally conveys
objective propositional message. (...) Discourse Modality operates to defne and to
foreground certain ways of interpreting the propositional content in discourse. It
is fair to say that Maynards discourse modality is parallel to Nitta and Masuokas
modality of discourse and communication. We will employ the term discourse
modality (DM) to distinguish it from modality, or modality oriented toward
proposition. Tis subdivision can be illustrated as in (11):
(11) [DM Nee [M tabun [P kono ame toobun yama-nai] daroo] ne]
You see, probably it wont stop raining for a while, will it?
Te difering degrees of relevance of modality categories to the propositional con-
tent of the sentence are iconically refected in their diferential positions, i.e. mo-
dality being situated closer to Proposition than discourse modality.
In Japanese Linguistics, two distinct types of modal meaning have been identi-
fed and respectively referred to as modality (oriented toward proposition) and
discourse modality. Tese descriptive labels seem to make sense when we con-
sider Japanese alone (see (11)). However, when we contrast modality categories in
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese ::,
Japanese with those in other languages, it is necessary to examine how such labels
are compatible with the typologically established terminology such as that em-
ployed in Palmer (1986, 2001) and Bybee et al. (1994). It is also very important to
examine what kind of grammatical means a language has available to encode and
allocate modal meaning in its sentence structure. In Japanese linguistics, much
attention has been paid to the semantic aspects of modality (see Narrog 2002a,
2005, 2009a, b), but relatively little attention seems to have been paid to its formal/
coding dimension.
Te notion of modality (modality oriented toward proposition) in Japanese
linguistics doesnt translate straightforwardly into the typologically-oriented ter-
minology introduced in Section 2.1, but seems to encompass both propositional
(epistemic and evidential) and event modalities. In terms of formal coding, mo-
dality in Japanese is manifested as a modal system of modal verbs (auxiliaries) as
we will see in Section 3. Te notion of modality in Japanese is thus not wholly
incompatible with the typologically oriented notions of modality.
Te notion of discourse modality, in contrast, appears to be less compatible
with the typologically established terminology of modality. Tis arguably refects
the fact that, unlike mood and prototypical modal systems, grammaticalized cod-
ing of a speakers discursive stance relative to the discursive content and to her/his
addressee, or discourse modality, is less prominent cross-linguistically. Palmer
(1986: 58) notes the existence of a discourse system as a (rather minor) subcate-
gory of modal systems and ofers the following observation:
Modals have an important part to play in discourse, as the participants express
their opinions and attitudes, and, in general, interact with one another. It is not
wholly surprising, therefore, that there are systems which are more directly con-
cerned with discourse relations.
Tough not cross-linguistically prominent, the existence of a discourse system in
Japanese is undisputable, as we will see in detail in Section 3. We therefore suggest
that when we contrast Japanese with other languages, discourse system be in-
cluded among the inventory of grammatical means to encode modality, on par
with modal system and mood as in (8), instead of being included within modal
1. A typical instance of discourse system cited by Palmer (1986: 61) is the set of sentence-fnal
particles in Mandarin Chinese (based on Li & Tompson 1981: 238f) illustrated in (a):
(a) le currently relevant state
ne response to question
ba solicit agreement
ou friendly warning
a/ya reduce forcefulness
ma question
::o Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
systems as it is under Palmers classifcation, when we contrast Japanese with other
(8) a. modal system
b. mood
c. discourse system
3. Modality and its formal coding in Japanese, Korean, English, and German
Tis section provides a comparison of modality grams in Japanese and its counter-
parts in Korean, English, and German. As with other grammatical phenomena
(e.g., tense, aspect, voice), modality in Japanese has been contrasted primarily with
its English counterpart (e.g., Sawada 1995) without paying due attention to the
typological variability of the grammatical category in question. We believe that by
contrasting modality in Japanese with its counterparts in languages of difering
typological profles, such as Korean, English, and German, we can have a more
realistic and relativized picture of modality in Japanese.
Te four languages selected represent two sets of East Asian and European
languages and they each are known to exhibit intriguing morpho-syntactic and
semantic diferences (English-German and Japanese-Korean). English and
German have been contrasted extensively by Hawkins (1986) from the perspective
of Comparative Typology, a theoretical framework designed to reveal cross-
linguistic variation in form-meaning mapping based on various lexical and mor-
pho-syntactic contrasts. Similar contrasts in form-meaning mapping have been
pointed out with another pair of languages, Japanese and Korean, in a series of
works by the frst author of this paper (Horie 1998a, b, 2001, 2002a, b, 2003a, b,
Horie & Sassa 2000). In the domain of mood and modality, Horie has made at-
tempts to present a comparative study of Japanese and Korean (Horie & Taira
2002, Horie 2003b), but it has become increasingly obvious that a further cross-
linguistic comparison beyond these two East Asian languages is needed in order to
provide a better-balanced relativized picture of modality in Japanese. Building on
the previous Japanese-Korean contrastive studies of modality (Horie & Taira 2002,
Horie 2003b), we will extend our inquiry into English and German in the remain-
der of this section.
3.1 Modal systems in Japanese, Korean, English, and German
Japanese has a rather elaborate modal system of sufxes (e.g. strong inferential
daroo (I) predict), so-called formal nouns (grammaticalized nouns) plus copulas
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese ::
(e.g. evidential yoo-da (appearance-be) it appears), and other syntactic construc-
tions (e.g. weak possibility kamo sirenai it may be that) that encode event,
epistemic, and evidential modalities:
(10) Asu-wa hayaku kaet-te mo ii desu yo.
tomorrow-top early go home-may cop:pol ip
You may go home early tomorrow. (event modality)
(11) a. [Asu yuki-ga huru] kamo sirenai.
tomorrow snow-nom fall it may be
It may snow tomorrow. (epistemic modality)
b. [Asu yuki-ga huru] soo da.
they say
I hear it will snow tomorrow. (evidential modality)
We can see that the polysemy in terms of event-epistemic modality (e.g., two pri-
mary senses of may in English), which is prevalent in European languages, is ab-
sent in Japanese. It must be noted, however, that the event-epistemic polysemy was
observable in Classical Japanese, as was the case with mu (encoding a speakers
volition and prediction/conjecture) and besi (encoding both event and epistemic
modality senses of should) (cf. Narrog 2002b).
A similar allocation of modality meanings by means of sufxes, formal nouns
with copulas, and other syntactic constructions, is observable in Korean (Korean
examples are from Horie 2003b unless otherwise noted):
(12) a. Yeki-se tampay-lul phiwe-to toy-pnikka?
this place-loc cigarette-acc smoke-even good-pol:q
May I smoke here? (event modality)
b. Ce-nun naynyen-ey hankwuk-ey kal ci to molu-pnita.
I-top next year-loc Korea-to go:adn:fut may-pol:ind
I may go to Korea next year. (epistemic modality)
c. Nwu-ka wa-ss na pota.
someone-nom come-past seem:ind
I think/It seems that someone is here.(evidential modality)
(Martin 1992: 705)
It is important to note, however, that Korean behaves diferently from Japanese in
terms of the grammatical coding of modal meanings. First, unlike Japanese, Korean
has a verbal sufx that encodes both event and epistemic modalities, i.e. -keyss-:
::8 Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
(13) a. Na ton an pat-keyss-tako yayki-n ha-n
I money neg receive-keyss-quot story-top say-adn:past
cek eps-e.
occasion not exist-ind
I have never said that I wouldnt receive money. (event modality)
(b) Nakksi-yo? Eme, nemwu caymiiss-keyss-ta...
fshing-pol ah very interesting-keyss-ind
(Are you) fshing? Ah, it looks very interesting. (epistemic modality)
Secondly, Korean has a sufx -te- (realized alternately as -ti- or -t-) that encodes
retrospective evidential modality, or the speakers past perception, observation,
or experience in declaratives and the hearers in interrogatives (Sohn 1994: 47), as
in (14), where -tela encodes the speakers recollection of a past experience:
(14) Pangkum cen-ey kasstaw-ass-nuntey uysik-i
just now before-in go and visit-past-conj consciousness-nom
not exist-hon-retro:ind
I visited (the patient) just a while ago, but (the patient) was unconscious.
Tis kind of retrospective modality is not grammatically coded in Japanese mod-
al systems, again pointing to a diference in the organization of the modal systems
between Korean and Japanese. It should be noted, however, that a similar modal
meaning was expressible in Old Japanese by means of a modal sufx keri.
English and German behave similarly in terms of the shared coding of event
and epistemic modalities, a commonly observed phenomenon within and beyond
European languages:
(15) a. You must leave now. (event modality)
b. He must be tired. (epistemic modality)
(16) a. Dieses Problem muss gelst werden
this problem mod solved become
Tis problem must be solved. (event modality)
b. Hans muss jetzt schn in Edmonton angekommen sein.
Hans mod now already in Edmonton arrived be
Hans must have already arrived in Edmonton by now. (epistemic)
Tere is a crucial diference between English and German modal systems in terms
of evidential modality. Unlike English, German has a set of modal auxiliaries that
can encode evidential meaning, as in (17):
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese ::
(17) Hans soll jetzt schon in Edmonton sein.
Hans mod now already in Edmonton be.
(According to some third person) Hans is already in Edmonton now.
(evidential modality)
A contrastive summary of modal systems in the four languages is presented in
Table 1.
From Table 1, we can see that the modal system in Japanese, not surprisingly,
is more similar to that in Korean than to the two other languages in terms of its
morpho-syntactic inventories. Specifcally, both Japanese and Korean modal sys-
tems are composed of periphrastic constructions and more synthetic sufxes,
while English and German modal systems are almost exclusively composed of
auxiliaries. However, when we take a closer look at the composite semantic catego-
ries of modality in the four languages, we get a more relativistic, continuous pic-
ture of cross-linguistic variation, as illustrated in Table 2:
Table 1. Modal systems in Japanese, Korean, German, and English
Japanese Korean German English
Sufxes (-da roo,
beki-da, -soo-da,
-mitai-da, -rasii, -tai,
-(r) (ar)eru, -uru,
Formal noun (yoo-da,
mono-da, etc.)
Syntactic construction
(-ka-mo sire nai, na-
kereba naranai, -te-
mo ii, -te hosii, etc.)
Sufxes (-te-,-ti-,
-tey- etc. (retro-spec-
tive), -keyss- (speak-
ers intent, conjec-
ture), -ess- (irrealis:
conditonal clause),
Formal noun (-kes
kathta, -swu issta
Syntactic construc-
tion (-ci moluta, -to
toyta, ...)
Modal auxiliaries
(mssen, drfen,
knnen, wollen,
sollen, mchten)
auxiliaries (brauchen,
Auxiliaries (ist zu,
haben zu)
Modal auxiliaries
(must, can, may,
should, will, shall,
ought to, etc.)
auxiliaries (seem to,
want to, etc.)
(is to, has to)
Verbal sufxes and
Verbal sufxes and
periphrasis system-
atically present;
synthetic nature of
sufx more mani-
fested than in
Japanese (e.g.,
Modal auxiliaries and
Modal auxiliaries and
Modal systems elaborately developed and playing more prominent roles than grammatical mood in all
four languages.
:io Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
Table 2. Semantic categories of modality and their formal manifestations contrasted
Japanese Korean German English
nakereba naranai, -te
mo ii,-beki-da, -(y)
oo, -tai, etc.
-ya hata/toyta,
-to toyta/cohta,
-keyss, -ko
siphta, etc.
mssen, knnen,
drfen, brauchen, wol-
len, mchten, sollen,
haben zu
must, can, should,
may, ought to, shall,
will, have to
-ka-mo sirenai,
-ni tigai nai, -hazu
da etc.
ci moluta
tus hata
mssen, knnen,
drfen, mgen
conditional adverbs
must, can, should,
may, ought to
Evidential -yoo-da,
-mitai-da, rasii,
-te-, -tey
-na pota, -nun/n/l
sollen, wollen,
Evidential modality is highly grammaticalized in Japanese and Korean, while it is absent in English, with
German situated in between.
German and English systematically exhibit polysemy in event and epistemic modalities, while Korean does
so only sparingly and Japanese virtually lacks such polysemy.
Table 2 demonstrates that both German and English exhibit event-epistemic modal
polysemy, i.e., a single auxiliary encoding both modalities (e.g., English must, Ger-
man mssen), a phenomena virtually absent in Japanese and Korean except for Ko-
rean -keyss that encodes both modalities. It must be noted that Old Japanese exhib-
ited such polysemy abundantly, e.g., mu, besi (cf. Horie 1997, Narrog 2002b).
Another interesting observation is that, as far as evidential modality is con-
cerned, English is virtually lacking in this category in striking contrast to Japanese
and Korean. Te latter two languages have a rich system of evidentials, with some
interesting cross-linguistic diferences observed such as the absence versus pres-
ence of the retrospective evidential modality encoding. German is an interesting
case in point in that it has hearsay evidential auxiliaries like sollen unlike English.
3.2 Mood in Japanese, Korean, German, and English
Mood, or verbal infection whose primary function is to encode the distinction
between realis and irrealis, is not a prominent grammatical feature in Japanese.
Unmarked conclusive (sentence-fnal) verb forms in Japanese, which primarily
encode non-past or past tense, do not overtly encode indicative mood, as in (18):
(18) a. Gohan-o mainiti taberu.
rice-acc every day eat:nonpast
I eat rice every day.
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese :i:
b. Gohan-o mainiti tabeta.
I ate rice every day.
Overt marking of modal meaning by infectional forms is thus limited to the con-
clusive verb forms marking propositive and imperative mood, as in (19):
(19) a. Gohan-o tabe-yoo.
Lets eat.
b. Gohan-o tabe-ro.
Similarly to Japanese, Korean has overt conclusive verbal forms encoding prop-
ositive and imperative mood, as in (20):
(20) a. Ka-ca.
Lets go. (plain style)
b. Ka-kela (plain style, used by elderly (Ahran Kim, p.c.))
Go !
Unlike Japanese, however, Korean has conclusive verbal forms that encode
indicative mood and interrogative mood, as in (21):
(21) a. Cikum pakkey pi-ka manhi o-n-ta.
now outside rain-nom much come-pres-ind
It is raining heavily outside.
b. Cikum pakkey pi-ka manhi o-nunya?
now outside rain-nom much come-Q
Is it raining heavily now outside?
Furthermore, Korean has an adnominal verbal ending (u)l that encodes irrealis
(future/probability), as in (22):
(22) ka-l salam
go-adn:fut person
the person who will/is supposed to go
In German, compared to English, mood is still alive and present, relatively speak-
ing. It has two types of subjunctive mood, i.e. Subjunctive I and Subjunctive II, to
mark subordinate clause, irrealis, and quotation:
:ii Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
(23) a. Sie sagte, sie habe jetzt genug von allem.
she said she has.subji now enough of all
She said that she had enough of all that. (subjunctive I marking indi-
rect speech)
b. Mit etwas mehr Glck htte ich hier gewonnen.
with a little more luck have.subjii I here won
With a little more luck I would have won here. (subjunctive II as ir-
In English, in contrast, mood is clearly dying out. Subjunctive verb forms have
survived only as the marked forms of were in conditional clauses and as citation
forms in complement clauses to a limited number of directive verbs like suggest, as
in (24):
(24) a. If you were here, we would be very happy.
b. Te director suggested that all the staf members be punctual.
A contrastive summary of mood in the four languages is presented in Table 3.
Table 3. Mood (Verbal infection)
Japanese Korean German English
Mood encoded by
conclusive form
V + (r)u (unmarked)
V + ta (unmarked)
V + (y)oo
V + e/ro
Mood encoded by
conclusive form
V + ta, -e, -ney, etc.
V + ca, -sey, etc.
V + nya, -ni, etc.
V + (e)la, -key, etc.
Mood encoded by
attributive form:
-(u)l (irrealis)
Indicative (unmarked)
Imperative (unmarked)
Subjunctive I: V+e
Subjunctive II: V
+e/ wrden + V
Function: Marking
of subordinate clauses,
irrealis, quotation
Indicative (unmarked)
Indicative (unmarked)
(Subjunctive: citation
form in a limited num-
ber of complement
clauses to directive
verb, suppletive form
were in conditional
Verbal infection
partially coding
modal meaning, but not
represent- ing gram-
matical mood
as a whole
Verbal infection cod-
ing modal
meaning more
overtly than
Indo-European mood
systems partially
Indo-European mood
systems virtually
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese :i
Table 3 indicates that grammatical mood is still alive and well in German, main-
taining an indicative-subjunctive distinction, while it has virtually ceased to func-
tion in English barring a very limited number of syntactic environments (e.g.
complements to a limited number of directive verbs like advise).
More controversial are the statuses of mood in Japanese and Korean, i.e.
whether it is proper to consider verbal sufxes encoding modal meanings in these
languages as representing grammatical mood in the same way that verbal infec-
tions do in European languages. As we adopt a typological approach in this paper
that treats the function of a linguistic form as constant and its formal manifesta-
tion as variable in this paper, we will consider verbal sufxes in Japanese and
Korean, which encode (ir)realis meaning to represent grammatical mood.
Japanese has a very limited number of verbal afxes with modal meaning, so it is
safe to say that mood plays a very limited role, if any, in Japanese. Tough it is a
matter of degree, Korean appears to manifest grammatical mood more overtly
than Japanese does in that it has verbal sufxes positively marking indicative
mood, e.g. V-ta. By comparing Tables 1 and 3, we can conclude that, for English,
Japanese, and Korean, modal systems play more prominent roles than grammati-
cal mood. In German, however, the division of labor between modal systems and
mood is better balanced than it is for the other three languages.
3.3 Discourse systems in Japanese, Korean, English, and German
Discourse systems, i.e. modals indexing discourse relations among participants
typically coded by modal particles, is not a major topic of discussion in Palmer
(1986) or its second edition (2001). However, discourse systems merit our atten-
tion as they exhibit high systematicity in Japanese, leading to the postulation of
Discourse Modality (or Modality of Discourse and Communication) (cf. 11) in
Japanese linguistics.
As discussed by Horie and Taira (2002), Japanese and Korean difer, rather
strikingly, in terms of the diferential degrees of elaboration of their discourse sys-
tems. Japanese has a highly elaborate system of sentence-fnal particles that are
divided into speaker-oriented particles or addressee-oriented particles:
(25) a. (speaker-oriented) yo, ze, zo
b. (addressee-oriented) ne, na
(26) a. Ame-ga huri hazime-ta yo.
rain-nom fall begin-past sfp
It has started raining, as I can assure you (e.g. the speaker telling his
interlocutor about the weather on his end.
:i| Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
b. Ame-ga huri hazime-ta ne.
rain-nom fall begin-past sfp
It has started raining, as we can see (e.g. the speaker telling his inter-
locutor about the rain they are watching together).
Similar to Japanese, Korean has a set of sentence-fnal sufxes, as in (27):
(27) -ci, -kwun(a), -ney etc.
(28) a. Na-nun mos ka-ci-yo.
I-top cannot go-sup-pol
I am unable to go, I suppose. (Sohn 1994: 353)
b. Nwun-i o-nun-kwun.
snow-nom come-pres-app
It is snowing! (Sohn 1994: 354)
Unlike Japanese sentence-fnal particles, however, Korean sentence-fnal particles
do not constitute a uniform set with similar discursive functions such as (28a, b),
and some of them, e.g.-ci and -kwun(a), respectively encoding a speakers sup-
position (Sohn 1994) and newly made inference (Lee 1991, Choi 1995), are
more properly regarded as markers of evidential modality, as suggested by Horie
and Taira (2002).
German is again an interesting case in point. Unlike English, which virtually
lacks this grammatical category, German has a set of so-called modal particles
which apparently serve some discursive functions (29):
(29) doch (afer all, though, just, truly, surely...)
schon (never fear, no doubt, surely, as a matter of course) denn
(evidently, as is well known, as I learn...) etc. (Palmer 2001: 60)
Tese modal particles can relate the content of speech to the immediate discourse
context, as in (30a), or serve some interactive (addressee-oriented) function, as in
(30b), where doch serves to mitigate the speakers utterance:
(30) a. Ich habs doch immer gewusst.
I mod always known
I have always known that. (and now it turns out to be true/but you
wouldnt listen to me etc.)
b. Halt doch deine Klappe!
keep.shut mod your mouth
Keep your mouth shut.
A contrastive summary of discourse systems is presented in Table 4:
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese :i,
Table 4. Discourse systems in Japanese, Korean, German, and English
Japanese Korean German English
Sentence-fnal particles
(yo, ne, zo, sa, na etc.)
Sentence-fnal sufxes
(-ci, -ney, -kwuna etc.)
Modal particles (doch,
aber, auch, blo, denn etc.)
Virtually absent
Divided into Speaker-
oriented or Hearer-
oriented particles
meaning or
evidentiality coded
Serve to ft the content
of an utterance to the
content of speech
Virtually absent
Japanese sentence-fnal particles can be divided into Speaker-oriented group (yo, ze, zo, sa etc.) and
Hearer-oriented group (ne, na etc.). Korean and German counterparts apparently lack the latter category.
English lacks this modal category altogether, primarily resorting to intonation and lexical means.
Japanese has a set of modal particles whose functions are oriented to either of two
major discourse participants, i.e. speaker (represented by particle yo) and hearer
(represented by ne). Korean and German, though possessing the category of mod-
al particles category, do not appear to exhibit similar orientation to discourse par-
ticipants unlike their Japanese counterparts. Korean and German modal particles
are apparently more oriented toward the content of the utterance than to the
discourse participants (see Horie & Taira 2001 for a detailed contrast between
Japanese and Korean discourse systems). Tis modal category is entirely lacking in
, which primarily resorts to intonation and lexical means to index dis-
course relations between speaker and hearer.
4. Why does Japanese have the distribution of modality categories
it has? A communicative-discursive perspective
Our contrastive study in Section 3 doesnt necessarily present a neat demarcation
of modality categories along geographical or genetic groupings. What emerges
from our contrastive study is a more relativistic, continuous spectrum of modal
categories distributed across the four languages. Te four languages contrasted are
shown to manifest slightly difering distributions of modal categories.
In terms of the grammatical coding of modal meanings, the four languages
exhibit the difering degrees of elaboration, as shown in (31). Bold and ( ) indicate
the greater and lesser degrees of elaboration respectively, while its absence indi-
cates the virtual absence of grammatical coding:
(31) a. modal system: [J, K, G, E]
b. mood: [(J), K, G, (E)]
c. discourse system: [J, (K), G]
2. See Abraham 2009 for a contrast between German and English.
:io Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
In terms of the types of modal meanings grammatically coded, the four languages
exhibit the following cross-linguistic variation as in (32). Please note that the sym-
bols (a)(c) in (31) and (32) indicate the correspondence between the types of
grammatical marking and the types of modal meaning coded therein:
(32) a. event modality, epistemic modality: [J, K, G, E]
a. evidential modality: [J, K, G]
b. realis/irrealis: [(J), K, G, (E)]
c. discourse modality: [J, (K), G]
How can we interpret the cross-linguistic distribution of formal and seman-
tic categories of modality presented in (31) and (32)? As stated in the preceding
sections, we adopt a functional typological approach to grammar. Tis approach
pays close attention to its communicative and discursive foundations in line
with the research frameworks of Discourse and Grammar by Du Bois (1987,
2003) and Typological Discourse Analysis by Myhill (1992). Specifcally, we
see grammar of a particular language not as a highly abstract and static compe-
tence-driven system of knowledge but as an emergent, dynamic set of commu-
nicative-discursive practices preferred in that linguistic community, some of
which are highly grammaticalized and other parts of which are subject to vary-
ing degrees of conventionalization (see also Hopper 1998, Horie 2004, Narrog &
Horie 2005). In what follows, we present a relativistic view of Japanese grammar,
in this case modality, and the communicative-discursive motivations for its
language-particular distribution, in comparison to the grammars of the other
three languages.
Among the four languages, English exhibits the least degree of elaboration in
terms of grammatical coding of modal meanings in general, whereas German is
shown to give overt encoding to all four types of modal meaning (32). Tis con-
trast ties in with the observation presented in Hawkins comparative typological
study (1986) of English and German in terms of form-meaning correspondence. It
was suggested there that English consistently tends toward greater surface struc-
ture ambiguity than German. In other words, German favors form-meaning trans-
parency to a greater extent than English. Tis contrast in terms of form-meaning
mapping holds in the domain of mood and modality. German thus elects to code
all four types of modal meaning, whereas English does so rather sparingly. It has
turned out that Japanese and Korean are situated in between the two poles in terms
of the degree of explicit grammatical coding of modal meanings, as shown in (32).
Tis suggests that Japanese and Korean prioritize diferent types of modal mean-
ing among the four types, as discussed in Horie and Taira (2002).
Japanese manifests itself as a language that has a modal system that encodes
event, epistemic, and evidential modalities, a relatively impoverished grammatical
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese :i
mood, and a rich discourse system of sentence-fnal particles that can be grouped
into speaker-oriented and hearer-oriented ones. Relative to the other languages
contrasted, the modality system in Japanese can be characterized by the rela-
tively high degree of elaboration in formal coding of evidential and discourse
As for the prominence of evidential modality in Japanese, it was suggested in
Horie (2000) that Japanese prioritizes the semantic distinction between directly
perceived phenomena (typically visually perceived phenomena) and indirectly
perceived (e.g., inferred) phenomena, leading to an elaborate system of comple-
mentation and a lexicon sensitive to this distinction (e.g., no, tokoro vs. koto, mono
vs. koto) (see Makino (1983) for a similar observation). It is not unreasonable to
assume that this socio-cultural preference, which may be deeply rooted in the
Japanese culture from an ancient period of its history, is responsible for the devel-
opment of grammaticalized evidential modality, already present in the Old
Japanese auxiliaries such as rasi, kemu, and the distinction between past auxiliaries
ki (directly experienced past) and keri (indirectly inferred past).
Te relatively impoverished mood coding in Japanese presents a rather strik-
ing contrast with Korean, which has an elaborate system of marking modal mean-
ings by verbal infectional sufxes, some of which are sensitive to the coding of
realis and irrealis. As suggested by Horie (2000), Korean appears to prioritize the
semantic distinction between realis and irrealis over that between directly per-
ceived phenomena and indirectly perceived phenomena, which is prioritized in
Japanese. Te greater/lesser degrees of elaboration of mood-marking infectional
sufxes between Korean and Japanese are an indication of this cross-linguistic dif-
ference. Tis diference is also arguably refected in the diferential semantic foun-
dations of complementizer choice between Korean and Japanese, i.e., (u)m (realis)
vs. ki (irrealis) in Korean, and no/tokoro (directly perceived phenomena) vs. koto
(indirectly perceived phenomena).
What then is the motivating factor behind the high elaboration of the dis-
course system in Japanese? In Horie (2002a, 2003a), based on morpho-syntactic
contrasts between Japanese and Korean, it was suggested, by drawing explana-
tory insights from Hawkinss (1986) contrastive study of English and German,
that the difering degrees of tightness in form-meaning mapping between the
two languages may be a refection of diferent priorities in underlying cognitive-
functional principles, form-meaning isomorphism (transparency) and economy.
Specifcally, it was argued that the greater emphasis on form-meaning mapping
isomorphism in Korean and that on economy in Japanese are correlated with dif-
fering socio-cultural communicative norms between the two linguistic commu-
nities, i.e. prioritization of getting ones message across without being misunder-
stood (Korean) versus that of contextual disambiguation of what is implicated
:i8 Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
(Japanese). Horie and Taira (2002) posited that the tendency toward context-
dependent ambiguity resolution leads to the development of grammatical re-
sources such as sentence-fnal particles in Japanese that closely monitor the fow
of information between discourse participants. Tis arguably led to the promi-
nence of formal coding of discourse modality in Japanese. In contrast, the ten-
dency toward clarity/explicitness of coding was argued to be responsible for the
development of mood-marking sufxes in Korean, which are more closely relat-
ed to the realis/irrealis status of the propositional content. Tis contrast was il-
lustrated in Horie and Taira (2002: 188, partially modifed) as in (33) (see ex-
ample (11) for the notation):
(33) [Discourse structure[Sentence structure: [proposition] [M] [DM]]]
We can see from (33) that Japanese and Korean manifest diferential preferences in
terms of the types of modal meaning they elect to encode grammatically.
Trough our extended contrastive study incorporating English and German,
we observed that languages difer, rather considerably, in terms of the types of
modal meaning grammatically encoded, the formal means employed to encode
modal meaning, and, more importantly, in terms of the degree of elaboration in
grammatical encoding. German was shown to pay due overall attention to the
coding of diferent types of modal meaning, while English was shown to be rather
selective, in line with the overall contrast between the two languages in terms of
the tightness of form-meaning mapping suggested by Hawkins (1986). Japanese
and Korean are situated in between the two poles, and their diferential choices are
arguably infuenced by the diferent socio-cultural communicative norms between
the two linguistic communities.
What we have ofered as motivating factors for the particular makeup of the
Japanese Modality system need further verifcation by related disciplines like cul-
tural anthropology and comparative cultural studies. However, compared to such
grammatical categories as tense and aspect, it does not seem unreasonable to as-
sume that modality, which exhibits greater cross-linguistic variability, is more
intimately afected and shaped by the particular socio-cultural communicative
priorities of the linguistic community.
5. Conclusion and implications for grammar
From a functional-typological perspective, this study presents a critical assess-
ment of defnitions of the grammatical category of modality based on the speakers
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese :i
subjective attitude/opinion, widely circulating within the Japanese linguistic
Typological studies on modality, notably Palmer (2001), are shown to be high-
ly suggestive in that they provide us with cross-linguistically applicable terminol-
ogy. Our contrastive study of modality grams in Japanese, Korean, English, and
German confrms the importance of relativizing the modality system in Japanese
by employing typologically established terminology and contrasting it with its
counterparts in other languages.
Te preceding analyses have the following implications for the study of
(I) Grammar as a refection of socio-cultural cognition and communicative
Grammatical categories such as modality are useful abstractions employed in lin-
guistic analysis. However, abstractions can prevent us from recognizing the fact
that grammar is employed by real people living in a particular linguistic commu-
nity and exercising specifc socio-cultural practices.
Recent years have witnessed a convergence of typological research interest on
(socio-cultural) cognitive and communicative foundations of grammar, as repre-
sented by the emerging research disciplines such as Cognitive Typology (Kemmer
2003; Horie 2002b; Horie & Pardeshi 2009; see also Heine 1997), Ethnosyntax
(Enfeld 2002; see also Enfeld & Levinson 2006), Discourse and Grammar (Du
Bois 2003; Ariel 2009), and Grammar-in-Interaction (Ford, Fox & Tompson
2003). Tese approaches do not take grammar to be an autonomous system. In-
stead, grammar is viewed as an open system closely interacting with other cogni-
tive and socio-cultural systems like perception, inference, discourse organization,
communicative practices, and culture.
Te cross-linguistic diferences in the degree of elaboration among diferent
subcategories of modality presented in this study require an explanation, which
3. Refecting continuing interest in modality phenomena, a collected volume on foundational
issues and recent advances in the study of modality was published (Frawley 2006). de Haan
(2006), included in Frawley (2006), ofers a useful survey of expressions of modality from a typo-
logical perspective. In regards to modality phenomena in Japanese, a collected volume with the
title Japanese Modality (Pizziconi & Kizu 2009), and a monograph entitled Modality in Japanese
(Narrog 2009a: See also Narrog 2009b) were published recently. Te former is based on a selec-
tion of papers presented at the international conference on Revisiting Japanese Modality held at
SOAS of the University of London in 2006. Moriya and Horie (2009), included in Pizziconi and
Kizu (2009), ofers a contrastive and historical linguistic analysis of the Japanese modal system
based particularly on a comparison with its Korean counterpart. Sawada (2012, in press) are a
collection of the most recent papers dealing with theoretical and analytical issues in the study of
Japanese modality (see Horie, in press, and Narrog, in press, included in Sawada, in press).
:o Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
entails going beyond the confnes of grammar and fnding a link between gram-
mar and other cognitive and communicative systems.
(II) Grammar as the interface of indigenous descriptive tradition and typo-
logical analysis.
Grammatical categories like modality are not just abstractions; they have concrete
manifestations in a particular language. As such individual languages have indig-
enous descriptive grammatical traditions, which may be very elaborate with vari-
ous language-particular ramifcations. Te traditional descriptive approaches to
modality in Japanese outlined in Section 2.2 are one such example.
We should not dismiss such indigenous descriptive grammatical traditions alto-
gether as they can ofer insight into the language-particular classifcation and orga-
nization of grammatical categories (e.g., part-of-speech system). At the same time,
we should not be misled by the idiosyncrasies involved in indigenous descriptive
terminology. Modality in Japanese is a prime example of a grammatical category at
the intersection of rich indigenous descriptive traditions and typological analysis,
with not much interaction between them until now. A typological approach such as
the one exercised in this paper can thus serve as a reality check for language-partic-
ular grammatical analyses and terminology (see also de Haan 2006).
ACC Accusative NEG Negative
ADN Adnominal POL Politeness
APP Apperceptive PAST Past
CONJ Conjunctive PRES Present
COP Copula PROPOS Propositive
FUT Future Q Question
IMP Imperative QUOT Quotative
IND Indicative RETRO Retrospective
IP Interactional Particle SUBJ Subjunctive
LOC Locative SUP Suppositive
MOD Modal TOP Topic
NOM Nominative
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese ::
Abraham, Werner. 2009. Die Urmasse von Modalitt und ihre Ausgliederung Modalitt anhand
von Modalverben, Modalpartikeln und Modus. In Modalitt und Evidentialitt. Epistemik
und Evidentialitt bei Modalverb, Adverb, Modalpartikel und Modus, Werner Abraham &
Elisabeth Leiss (eds), 251302. Tbingen: Staufenburg.
Ariel, Mira. 2009. Pragmatics and Grammar. Cambridge: CUP.
Bybee, Joan L. 1985. Morphology [Typological Studies in Language 9]. Amsterdam: John
Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/tsl.9
Bybee, Joan, Perkins, Revere & Pagliuca, William 1994. Te Evolution of Grammar. Tense, Aspect,
and Modality in the Languages of the World. Chicago IL: Te University of Chicago Press.
Choi, Soonja. 1995. Te development of epistemic sentence-ending modal forms and functions
in Korean. In Modality in Grammar and Discourse [Typological Studies in Language 32],
Joan Bybee & Suzanne Fleischman (eds), 165204. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Comrie, Bernard. 1976. Aspect. Cambridge: CUP.
de Haan, Ferdinand. 2006. Typological approaches to modality. In Te Expression of Modality,
William Frawley (ed.), 2769. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
Du Bois, John W. 1987. Te discourse basis of ergativity. Language 63: 805855. DOI:
Du Bois, John W. 2003. Discourse and grammar. In Te New Psychology of Language, Vol. 2,
Michael Tomasello (ed.), 4787. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Enfeld, Nicholas J. (ed.) 2002. Ethnosyntax: Explorations in Culture and Grammar. Oxford: OUP.
Enfeld, Nicholas J. & Levinson, Stephen C. (eds). 2006. Roots of Human Sociality. Oxford: Berg.
Ford, Cecilia, Fox, Barbara A. & Tompson, Sandra A. 2003. Social interaction and grammar. In
Te New Psychology of Language, Vol. 2, Michael Tomasello (ed.), 119143. Mahwah NJ:
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Frawley, William (ed.) 2006. Te Expression of Modality. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. DOI:
Hawkins, John A. 1986. A Comparative Typology of English and German. London: Croom Helm.
Heine, Bernd. 1997. Cognitive Foundations of Grammar. Oxford: OUP.
Hopper, Paul J. 1998. Emergent grammar. In Te New Psychology of Language, Michael Tomasello
(ed.), 155175. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Horie, Kaoru. 1997. Form-meaning interaction in diachrony: A case study from Japanese.
English Linguistics 14: 428449.
Horie, Kaoru. 1998a. Functional duality of case-marking particles in Japanese and its implica-
tions for grammaticalization: A contrastive study with Korean. In Japanese/Korean Linguis-
tics 8: 147159.
Horie, Kaoru. 1998b. On the polyfunctionality of the Japanese particle No: From the perspec-
tives of ontology and grammaticalization. In Studies in Japanese Grammaticalization: Cog-
nitive and Discourse Perspectives, Toshio Ohori (ed.), 169192. Tokyo: Kurosio.
Horie, Kaoru. 2000. Complementation in Japanese and Korean: A contrastive and cognitive
linguistic approach. In Complementation: Cognitive and Functional Perspectives [Converg-
ing Evidence in Language and Communication Research 1], Kaoru Horie (ed.), 1131.
Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/celcr.1
:i Kaoru Horie and Heiko Narrog
Horie, Kaoru. 2001. Kootyakugo ni okeru bunpooka no tokutyoo ni kansuru ninti gengoga-
kuteki koosatu (A cognitive linguistic analysis of the characteristics of grammaticalization
in agglutinative languages). In Ninti gengogaku ronkoo (Papers in cognitive linguistics),
Masaaki Yamanashi et al. (eds), 89131. Tokyo: Hituzi.
Horie, Kaoru. 2002a. A comparative typological account of Japanese and Korean morpho-
syntactic contrasts. Eonehag 32 (Te Linguistic Society of Korea): 932.
Horie, Kaoru. 2002b. Verbal nouns in Japanese and Korean: Cognitive typological implications.
In Culture, Interaction, Language, Kuniyoshi Kataoka & Sachiko Ide (eds), 77101. Tokyo:
Horie, Kaoru. 2003a. What cognitive linguistics can reveal about complementation in non-IE
languages: Case studies from Japanese and Korean. In Cognitive Linguistics and Non-Indo
European Languages, Eugene H. Casad & Gary B. Palmer (eds), 363388. Berlin: Mouton
de Gruyter. DOI: 10.1515/9783110197150.9.363
Horie, Kaoru. 2003b. Diferential manifestations of modality between Japanese and Korean A
typological perspective. In Empirical and Teoretical Investigations into Language, Shuji
Chiba et al. (eds), 205216. Tokyo: Kaitakusya.
Horie, Kaoru. 2004. Danwa to ninti (Discourse and cognition). In Ninti bunpoo ron II (Essays in
cognitive linguistics II), Yoshihisa Nakamura (ed.), 247278. Tokyo: Taishukan.
Horie, Kaoru. In press. Modaritii no ruikeiron (A typology of modal expressions). In Modaritii:
Riron to hoohoo (Modality: Teory and method), Harumi Sawada (ed.). Tokyo: Hituzi.
Horie, Kaoru & Sassa, Yuko. 2000. From place to space to discourse: A contrastive linguistic
analysis of Tokoro and Tey. In Japanese/ Korean Linguistics 9, Mineharu Nakayama &
Charles J. Quinn (eds), 181194. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Horie, Kaoru & Taira, Kaori. 2002. Where Korean and Japanese difer: Modality vs. discourse
modality. In Japanese/ Korean Linguistics 10, Noriko Akatsuka & Susan Strauss (eds), 178
191. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Horie, Kaoru & Pardeshi, Prashant. 2009. Gengo no taiporozii: Ninti ruikei ron no apurooti
(A typology of languages: Cognitive typological approach). Tokyo: Kenkyusya.
Johnson, Yuki. 2003. Modality and the Japanese Language. Ann Arbor MI: Te University of
Michigan Press.
Kemmer, Suzanne. 2003. Human cognition and the elaboration of events: Some universal con-
ceptual categories. In Te New Psychology of Language, Vol. 2. Michael Tomasello (ed.),
89118. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Kiefer, Ferenc. 1999. Modality. In Concise Encyclopedia of Grammatical Categories, Keith Brown
& Jim Miller (eds), 223229. Oxford: Elsevier.
Lee, Hyosang. 1991. Tense, Aspect, and Modality. A Discourse-Pragmatic Analysis of Verbal
Afxes in Korean: From a Typological Perspective. PhD dissertation, UCLA.
Li, Charles & Tompson, Sandra A. 1981. Mandarin Chinese. Berkeley CA: Te University of
California Press.
Maikino, Seiichi. 1983. How sensitive is the Japanese language to directly Perceivable phenom-
ena? In Issues in Syntax and Semantics. Festschrif for Masatake Muraki, Kazuko Inoue (ed.),
127144. Tokyo: Sansyuusya.
Martin, Samuel E. 1992. A Reference Grammar of Korean. Tokyo: Tuttle.
Masuoka, Takashi. 1991. Modaritii no bunpoo (Grammar of modality). Tokyo: Kurosio.
Masuoka, Takashi. 2000. Meidai to modaritii no kyookai o motomete (In search for the bound-
ary between proposition and modality). In Nihongo bunpoo no syosoo (Aspects of Japanese
grammar), Takashi Masuoka (ed.), 8798. Tokyo: Kurosio.
What typology reveals about modality in Japanese :
Maynard, Senko K. 1993. Discourse Modality. Subjectivity, Emotion and Voice in the Japanese
Language [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 24]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI:
Myhill, John. 1992. Typological Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell.
Mithun, Marianne. 1999. Te Languages of Native North America. Cambridge: CUP.
Moriya, Testuharu & Horie, Kaoru. 2009. What is and what is not language-specifc about the
Japanese modal system? A comparative and historical perspective. In Japanese Modality:
Exploring its Scope and Interpretations, Barbara Pizziconi & Mika Kizu (eds), 87114.
Houndmillls: Palgrave Macmillan.
Narrog, Heiko. 2002a. Imiron kategorii to site no modaritii (Modality as a semantic category).
In Ninti Gengogaku 2: Kategoriika (Cognitive linguistics 2: Categorization), Toshio Ohori
(ed.), 217251. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
Narrog, Heiko. 2002b. Polysemy and indeterminacy in modal markers. Te case of Japanese
Beshi. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 11: 123167. DOI: 10.1023/A:1014948516744
Narrog, Heiko. 2005. On defning modality again. Language Sciences 27: 165192. DOI:
Narrog, Heiko. 2009a. Modality in Japanese: Te Layered Structure of the Clause and Hierarchies
of Functional Categories [Studies in Language Companion Series 109]. Amsterdam: John
Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/slcs.109
Narrog, Heiko. 2009b. Modality, modariti and predication Te story of modality in Japan. In
Japanese Modality. Exploring Its Scope and Interpretation, Barbara Pizziconi & Mika Kizu
(eds), 935. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.
Narrog, Heiko. In press. Modaritii no teigi o megutte (Concerning the defnition of modality).
In Modaritii: Riron to hoohoo (Modality: Teory and method), Harumi Sawada (ed.).
Tokyo: Hituzi.
Narrog, Heiko & Horie, Kaoru. 2005. Hanasi kotoba ni okeru kanoo hyoogen (Potential expres-
sions in spoken Japanese). In Gengogaku to nihongo kyooiku IV, Masao Minami (ed.), 99
110. Tokyo: Kurosio.
Nitta, Yoshio. 1991. Nihongo no modaritii to ninsyoo (Modality and person in Japanese). Tokyo:
Nitta, Yoshio. 2000. Ninsiki no modaritii to sono syuuhen (Epistemic modality and its sur-
roundings). In Modaritii (Modality). Nihongo no modaritii to ninsyoo (Modality and person
in Japanese), Takuroo Moriyama et al. (eds), 81159. Tokyo: Iwanami Syoten.
Onoe, Keisuke. 1996. Bun o doo mita ka: Zyutugoron no gakusiteki tenkai (How did they view
a sentence? A historical development of the analysis of predication in Japanese). Nihon-
gogaku (Journal of Japanese Linguistics) 15(8): 412.
Palmer, Frank R. 1986. Mood and Modality. Cambridge: CUP.
Palmer, Frank R. 2001. Mood and Modality, 2nd edn. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/
Pizziconi, Barbara, & Kizu, Mika (eds). 2009. Japanese Modality: Exploring its Scope and Inter-
pretations. Houndmillls: Palgrave Macmillan.
Sawada, Harumi. 1995. Studies in English and Japanese Auxiliaries. Tokyo: Hituzi.
Sawada Harumi (ed.). 2012. Modaritii: Zirei kenkyuu (Modality: Case studies). Tokyo: Hituzi.
Sawada, Harumi (ed.). In press. Modaritii: Riron to Hoohoo (Modality: Teory and method).
Tokyo: Hituzi.
Sohn, Homin. 1994. Korean. London: Croom Helm.
part 2
Frequency, interaction and language use
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it?
Timothy J. Vance
Te morphophonemic voicing phenomenon in Japanese known as rendaku is
highly irregular, but several factors are believed to make rendaku more or less
likely. Tis paper reviews some experiments intended to test the psychological
reality of three such factors: Lymans Law, the semantic relationship between
the two elements in noun + verb compound nouns, and salient semantic or
phonological resemblances between novel compounds and existing compounds.
Te evidence suggests that each of these factors has at least a detectable efect on
responses in experimental situations. Any realistic overall account of rendaku
will have to incorporate a signicant degree of intractable irregularity, but it will
also have to be consistent with the intuition of nave native speakers that rendaku
is predictable.
1. Introduction
Many Japanese morphemes exhibit a well-known voicing phenomenon called
rendaku .
Such a morpheme has one allomorph beginning with a voiceless
obstruent and another allomorph beginning with a voiced obstruent. An example
is a morpheme meaning bird: it appears with voiceless initial /t/ in /tori/ bird
and in /tori + kago/ birdcage (cf. /kago/ cage), and it appears with voiced
initial /d/ in /hai + dori/ hummingbird (cf. /hai/ bee). When a mor-
pheme shows this kind of alternation, the allomorph that begins with a voiced
obstruent can appear only non-word-initially, and it is customary to say that
rendaku occurs in a word that contains this allomorph. Tus, in the examples in-
volving /tori/~/dori/, rendaku occurs in /hai + dori/. Also, it is convenient to refer
to an allomorph that begins with a voiced obstruent as the voiced allomorph or
the rendaku allomorph of the relevant morpheme. In the case of /tori/~/dori/
1. Martin (1952: 48) ofers sequential voicing alternation as an English translation of the
Japanese technical term rendaku. Te phenomenon is now widely known among linguists, and
many recent publications in English refer to it as (Japanese) rendaku.
:8 Timothy J. Vance
bird, the voiced allomorph is /dori/. Te examples in (1) show all the pairs of al-
ternating phonemes that fall under the rendaku label.
(1) a. /f/~/b/ /fune/ boat /kawa + bune/ river boat
b. /h/~/b/ /hako/ box /hai + bako/ chopstick case
c. /t/~/d/ /tama/ ball /me + dama/ eyeball
d. /k/~/g/ /kami/ paper /kabe + gami/ wallpaper
e. /c/~/z/ /cuka/ mound /ari + zuka/ anthill
f. /s/~/z/ /sora/ sky /hoi + zora/ starry sky
g. //~// /ikara/ strength /soko + ikara/latent strength
h. //~// /irui/ symbol /ya + irui/ arrow symbol
Notice that /b/ alternates with /f/ (as in /fune/~/bune/) and with /h/ (as in /hako/~
/bako/), not with /p/. Te /f/~/b/ and /h/~/b/ alternations reect the that /f/ and /h/
in native Japanese words are both descended from a single phoneme that was once
pronounced [p].
Notice also that /z/ alternates both with /c/ (as in /cuka/~/zuka/)
and with /s/ (as in /sora/~/zora/), and that // alternates both with // (as in
/ikara/~/ikara/) and with // (as in /irui/~/irui/). Tese pairings reect the
mergers of voiced fricatives and africates in Tokyo Japanese, that is, the loss of
earlier phonemic distinctions between [z] and [dz] and between [] and []. Be-
cause of all these changes, the diference between the paired voiced and voiceless
obstruents in (1) is ofen more than just the presence or absence of voicing.
It is not immediately obvious that all the alternating phoneme pairs in (1) should
be treated as instances of a single phenomenon. Te same sort of question arises in
connection with the three parallel voiceless/voiced fricative alternations in English
nouns: /f/~/v/ (as in /wlf/ wolf versus /wlv + z/ wolves), //~// (as in /b/ bath
versus /b + z/ baths), and /s/~/z/ (as in /haus/ house versus /hauz + z/ houses).
Tese three English pairings are all phonetically parallel, but many noun morphemes
end in /f/ or // both in the singular and in the plural (e.g., reef /rif/ versus reefs
/rif + s/, myth /m/ versus myths /m + s/), house is the only morpheme that shows
the /s/~/z/ alternation, and no morpheme shows a parallel //~// alternation. It is
far from certain that ordinary native speakers of English intuitively recognize the
three fricative alternations as instances of a single more abstract phenomenon.
When it comes to rendaku, however, there is no real doubt that native speakers
of Japanese see all the alternations in (1) as instances of a single more general phe-
nomenon, in spite of the phonetic complications noted above. One likely reason is
2. Te phonemic transcriptions of modern Japanese in this paper follow the analysis I adopt-
ed in Vance (1987: 947). I assume a uniform phonemic inventory for all vocabulary strata.
3. For details on the changes that earlier [p] has undergone, see Kiyose 1985; Hamano 2000;
and Unger 2004.
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it? :
that the Japanese rendaku alternations are much more widespread than the English
fricative alternations. Te Japanese alternations appear in a very large number of
morphemes, while the English alternations are conned to a small set of noun
morphemes. At the same time, almost any preceding compound element or prex
provides an environment for the voiced allomorph of an alternating Japanese mor-
pheme. In the English case, the plural morpheme is the only environment for the
allomorphs ending with a voiced fricative.
Te Japanese writing system provides what is probably an even more powerful
reason for native speakers to see the rendaku alternations as a unitary phenomenon:
modern kana spelling represents all the alternations in exactly parallel fashion. Te
kana voicing diacritic called dakuten represents more than just the addition of
voicing in some cases, and the relationships between kana symbols with and with-
out the voicing diacritic mirror the alternations shown in (1) above. For example,
the diacritic is added to the symbols for /ta/ , /sa/ , /ka/ , and /ha/ to write
the syllables /da/ , /za/ , /ga/ , and /ba/ . Because of the two mergers of
voiced fricatives and africates, each of the syllables /zu/, /i/, /a/, /o/, and /u/ has
two possible spellings. In most cases, the diacritic is added to /su/ , /i/ , /a/
, /o/ , and /u/ to write /zu/ as , /i/ as , /a/ as , /o/ as
, and /u/ as .
But when a morpheme has a voiceless allomorph that begins
with one of /cu/ , /i/ , /a/ , /o/ , and /u/ , the practice is to
write its voiced allomorph by simply adding the diacritic and writing /zu/ as , /i/
as , /a/ as , /o/ as , and /u/ as . As a result, in terms of kana spell-
ing, rendaku is just the addition of the dakuten diacritic, as in for /ari +
zuka/ anthill (compare for /cuka/ mound) and for /
soko + ikara/ latent strength (compare for /ikara/ strength).
2. Fundamental irregularity
According to Okumura (1955), it is extremely difcult to specify when rendaku
occurs, although there are certain tendencies. Tis candid assessment could
4. In a few cases, an alternating English noun morpheme is also related to a verb with a stem-
nal voiced fricative. For example, the verb house is pronounced /hauz/, just like the allomorph
of the noun morpheme that appears in the plural. Tere are also some examples of a verb stem
ending in // that has a diferent vowel than the related noun. One of these is bathe /be/, with
/e/ instead of the // of bath /b/. Given the diferences in meaning, the noun and verb in such
a pair presumably cannot be analyzed as just allomorphs of the same morpheme.
5. Te situation was quite diferent before the postwar orthographic reforms of 1946. See
Seeley (1991: 104125, 153154) for discussion of the diferences between prewar and postwar
kana spellings.
:|o Timothy J. Vance
perhaps be improved slightly by replacing the words extremely difcult with the
word impossible; certainly nothing in the half century of subsequent research on
rendaku suggests that Okumura was overly pessimistic.
Te rendaku alternations are fundamentally irregular in two ways. First, there
are morphemes that never exhibit rendaku, even though no putative constraint
would be violated.
Te second elements in the three compounds in (2) are mor-
phemes of this type.
(2) /suna + kemuri/ clouds of sand (cf. /kemuri/ smoke)
/asa + cuyu/ morning dew (cf. /cuyu/ dew)
/kucu + himo/ shoelace (/himo/ string)
Te important point here is not the absence of rendaku in the three compounds in
(2) but the fact that the three morphemes meaning smoke, dew, and string sim-
ply do not have voiced allomorphs.
Te other kind of irregularity is that many morphemes sometimes exhibit
rendaku and sometimes do not, even when no putative constraint is relevant. Te
examples in (3) illustrate.
(3) /ki/ wood /cumi + ki/ (toy) wooden blocks
/yose + gi/ wooden mosaic
/tama/ ball /mizu + tama/ water droplet
/yu + dama/ bubbles in boiling water
/ima/ island /uki + ima/ oating island
/hanare + ima/ solitary island
/hi/ sun /asa + hi/ morning sun
/nii + bi/ westering sun
In addition, there are individual words, such as those in (4), that can be pro-
nounced either with or without rendaku.
6. For an introduction to the putative constraints on rendaku, see Vance (1987: 136146).
7. Of course, an individual speaker might prefer one alternative to the other for each word. In
the case of /oku + fukai/~/oku + bukai/, Matsumura (1988) lists both pronunciations, but
Shinmura (1998) lists only /oku + bukai/, and NHK Hs Bunka Kenkyjo 1998 lists only /oku
+ fukai/. As for /waru + kui/~/waru + gui/ and /ki + kaeru/~/ki + gaeru/, all three of these
dictionaries list both alternatives. Te rendaku in /ki + gaeru/ seems to be a recent development
in modern standard Japanese. Jorden and Chaplin (1962: 45) gives /ki + kaeru/, without
rendaku, as the only pronunciation for this lexical item, but Jorden and Noda (1988: 301) gives
/ki + kaeru/ and /ki + gaeru/ as alternative pronunciations, and the great majority of modern
Tokyo speakers seem to use only /ki + gaeru/. Although /oku + fukai/~/oku + bukai/ and /ki +
kaeru/~/ki + gaeru/ are inectional forms, the morpheme boundaries between stem and
inectional sufx are not relevant here and are not marked. In the case of verbs, there is serious
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it? :|:
(4) /waru + kui/~/waru + gui/ bad mouthing
/ki + kaeru/~/ki + gaeru/ change clothes
/oku + fukai/~/oku + bukai/ deeply recessed
On the other hand, rendaku is pervasive in the existing vocabulary, and it ofen
occurs in newly coined words. As a comparison, consider once again the singular/
plural voicing alternations in English nouns (as in /wlf/ wolf versus /wlv + z/
wolves, /b/ bath versus /b + z/ baths, and /haus/ house versus /hauz + z/
houses). Tese English alternations are all losing ground; nouns that alternate for
older speakers ofen do not alternate for younger speakers, and the alternations are
never extended to new nouns. Also, English orthography provides no hint that the
alternations are parallel.
3. Lymans Law
Te most important of the putative constraints on rendaku is known as Lymans
Law, which says that when the second element in a combination already contains
a voiced obstruent, rendaku does not occur.
Te examples in (5) illustrate.
(5) a. /tani + gawa/ valley river cf. /kawa/ river
b. /tani + kaze/ valley wind cf. /kaze/ wind
Since /kawa/ does not contain a voiced obstruent, rendaku in /tani + gawa/ (5a)
does not violate Lymans Law. In contrast, since /kaze/ does contain a voiced ob-
struent (namely, /z/), if the form in (5b) were */tani + gaze/, with rendaku, it would
violate Lymans Law. Te modern Japanese vocabulary contains only a very small
number of exceptions to Lymans Law, the best known of which is probably /nawa
+ baigo/ rope ladder (cf. /haigo/ ladder).
A study reported in Vance (1980) asked native speakers of Japanese to con-
sider compounds consisting of a real rst element and a made-up second element.
Each made-up element and each compound was provided with a denition, and
the task was to decide whether each compound sounded better with rendaku or
doubt about whether the division of inectional forms into a stem followed by an inectional
sufx is a realistic way of representing the knowledge of native speakers. See Vance (1991) and
especially Klafehn (2003).
8. Lymans Law is named afer Benjamin Smith Lyman, who was the rst non-Japanese to
write about it (see Lyman 1894). According to Miyake (1932: 136), the Japanese scholar Motoori
Norinaga (17301801) stated categorically that if the second element of a compound contains a
voiced obstruent, its initial consonant does not voice.
:|i Timothy J. Vance
without. In some cases, rendaku would violate Lymans Law, and in other cases it
would not. Two of the test items appear in (6).
(6) a. () kawa de no kys competition on a river
/kawa + kidake/
/kawa + gidake/
b. () kawa no jtai condition of a river
/kawa + tacuka/
/kawa + dacuka/
Notice that one of the two choices in (6a) (/kawa + gidake/) violates Lymans Law,
while the other choice (/kawa + kidake/) does not. Neither of the two choices in
(6b) violates Lymans Law.
Te graph in Figure 1 shows the percentage of rendaku responses by each sub-
ject to items with no voiced obstruent in the second element and to items with a
voiced obstruent anywhere in the second element. Rendaku responses to items of the
second type are like /kawa + gidake/ in (6a), i.e., they are violations of Lymans Law.
Te graph shows a wide range of individual diferences, but every subject ex-
cept S12 gave some responses that violated Lymans Law. On the other hand, for
every subject, the proportion of rendaku responses to items without a voiced

7 4 14 5 8 10 1 13 3 6 2 11 9 12
no Lymans Law violation
Lymans Law violation
Figure 1. Rendaku responses to compounds consisting of a real frst element and a made-
up second element (Vance 1980)
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it? :|
obstruent in the second element was higher than the proportion of rendaku re-
sponses to items with a voiced obstruent in the second element. Te diference was
statistically signicant for every subject except S1.
What, then, is the ontological status of Lymans Law? Does it make sense to say
that there is a constraint on something (i.e., rendaku) that is not itself a rule?
why does Lymans Law persist if most people are willing to violate it in an experi-
mental situation?
4. Direct object + verb stem
Tis section considers two-element compound nouns consisting of a noun ele-
ment followed by the so-called stem form of a transitive verb. Te abbreviation N
+ V = N denotes a compound of this type. If the noun element is semantically the
direct object of the verb element (DO + V = N), rendaku is supposedly inhibited
(Okumura 1955; Sakurai 1966: 41; Yamaguchi 2011). Te examples in (7) follow
this putative pattern.
(7) a. DO + V = N: /ai + cuke/ avoring
cf. /ai o cukeru/ add avor
b. nonDO + V = N: /kugi + zuke/ attaching with nails
cf. /kugi de cukeru/ attach with nails
As Kindaichi (1976) demonstrates with long lists of examples, however, resistance
to rendaku in DO + V = N compounds is just a tendency in the existing vocabu-
lary. Te rst three examples in (8) all have the form DO + V = N, but rendaku
occurs. In (8d), on the other hand, the noun element is not the direct object of the
verb element (nonDO + V = N), but rendaku does not occur.
(8) a. /kuruma + dome/ wheel block
cf. /kuruma o tomeru/ stop wheels
b. /kui + biki/ drawing lots
cf. /kui o hiku/ draw lots
9. Te statistical test used was chi-square. Te number of responses with and without rendaku
was treated as one dimension and the items in which rendaku was or was not a violation of
Lymans Law was treated as the other dimension of a 22 contingency table. Ihara and Murata
(2006) used essentially the same method with two much larger groups of subjects, and they report
comparable results. For a more recent experimental study of Lymans Law, see Kawahara (2012).
10. I thank George Bedell for putting the question this way in the discussion afer a talk I gave
at International Christian University in Tokyo in 2002.
:|| Timothy J. Vance
c. /hotaru + gari/ rey hunting
cf. /hotaru o karu/ hunt reies
d. /kata + kake/ shawl
cf. /kata ni kakeru/ put on the shoulders
Needless to say, the presence or absence of rendaku is not an issue if the related
verb does not begin with a voiceless obstruent or if it contains a non-initial voiced
obstruent. For example, in the case of /mui + yoke/ insect repellent
(cf. the verb /yokeru/ avoid), there simply is no possibility of rendaku, and in the
case of /ne + sage/ price reduction (cf. the verb /sageru/ lower), rendaku
would violate Lymans Law. Setting such cases aside, nonDO + V = N compounds
without rendaku like (8d) are quite rare. Most nonDO + V = N compounds follow
the proposed pattern and, like /kugi + zuke/ in (7b), have rendaku. In contrast, DO
+ V = N compounds with rendaku like (8ac) are quite common.
Nakamura and Vance 2002 reports an experimental study of the proposed pat-
tern. As a preliminary step, a representative sample of the existing vocabulary was
carefully constructed.
Tis sample contains 403 N + V = N items susceptible to
rendaku, that is, items for which the related verb begins with a voiceless obstruent
11. Sugioka (2005: 217218) argues that there is a productive rule for creating new DO + V =
N compounds, whereas new nonDO + V = N compounds result from what she characterizes as
a kind of analogy. She also claims that rendaku always occurs when it is possible in newly coined
nonDO + V = N compounds but seldom occurs in newly coined DO + V = N compounds. To
be more precise, Sugioka says that the contrast is between initial noun elements that are adjuncts
and those that are arguments, and arguments presumably include subjects as well as direct ob-
jects. Kindaichi (1976: 12) suggests that Subject + V = N compounds resists rendaku regardless
of whether the verb element is transitive or intransitive, but in earlier work Sugioka (1986: 108,
n. 24) disagrees and says that Subject + V = N compounds do not seems to resist rendaku.
12. A revised version of the vocabulary sample described in this paragraph is available to any
interested reader as a pdf le <>. A detailed explana-
tion of how the sample was constructed is included in Nakamura and Vance 2002, but the main
points can be summarized as follows. We started with a large reverse dictionary organized by
part of speech (Kazama 1979) and made a list of all the simplex verbs beginning with a voiceless
obstruent and not containing a medial voiced obstruent. We then restricted the list to verbs that
are reasonably common in modern Japanese by eliminating all those that do not appear as a
headword in a medium-sized Japanese-English dictionary (Hasegawa et al. 1986). For each re-
maining verb, we found every N + V = N compound listed in a small reverse dictionary (Kitahara
1990) but discarded any compound that does not appear as a headword in the Japanese-English
dictionary. We then tried to classify each remaining compound as DO + V = N or nonDO + V =
N and eliminated those for which the classication was problematic. Finally, Nakamura (a native
speaker of Japanese) eliminated compounds that were not in her active vocabulary or for which
her own pronunciation difered from the pronunciation given in the Japanese-English diction-
ary. Te version of the sample now available online incorporates a few revisions and corrections
done in 2012 by a second native speaker of Japanese (Akiko Takemura).
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it? :|,
+R 143 145
R 104 11
Figure 2. Representative sample of N + V = N compounds in existing vocabulary
and does not contain non-initial voiced obstruent. Te properties of interest are
distributed as in Figure 2, where + DO means a DO + V = N compound, DO
means a nonDO + V = N compound, +R means that rendaku occurs, and R
means that rendaku does not occur.
It is clear that rendaku occurs in a much higher proportion of nonDO + V = N
(DO) compounds (145/156 = 93%) than DO + V = N ( + DO) compounds
(143/247 = 58%). On the other hand, rendaku is hardly exceptional in +DO com-
pounds, since it occurs in more than half (58%) of the relevant items.
In an earlier experimental study, Kozman (1998) asked subjects to respond to
ten novel N + V = N compounds, each plausibly ambiguous between a +DO mean-
ing and a DO meaning, in which the nominal element is understood as instru-
mental. One of Kozmans items had the alternative pronunciations /ai + kaki/
(without rendaku) and /ai + gaki/ (with rendaku). Twenty subjects heard the R
pronunciation and twenty subjects heard the +R pronunciation. Te task was to
choose one of two written denitions for each item. In this case, the denitions
were as in (9).
(9) a. +DO: E no kurasu de seito ga ashi o kaku.
Te students draw a foot in drawing class.
b. DO: Ude no fujiy na hito ga ashi de kaku.
Te person with disabled arms draws with his foot.
Tere were 200 responses to +R items and 200 responses to R items (10 items
20 subjects for each). Te percentage of +DO responses was 37% for +R and 45.5%
for R items, and while the diference (74/200 versus 91/200) is in the predicted
direction, it is not statistically signicant. Kozmans results thus provide no sup-
port for the idea that native speakers of Japanese internalize the putative regularity
even as a tendency.
Te Nakamura and Vance 2002 experiment involved a production task. Te
expectation was that the results would corroborate Kozmans ndings, but the ac-
tual results were not quite in line with this expectation. Twenty-one subjects par-
ticipated, and the task was to pronounce N + V = N compounds in response to
spoken prompts that were mostly of the form NOUN (PARTICLE) VERB. Tere
:|o Timothy J. Vance
were eight verbs and four prompts for each verb, two +DO prompts and two DO
prompts. For each verb, one +DO prompt and one DO prompt were each in-
tended to elicit an existing compound. Te other +DO prompt and the other DO
prompt were each intended to elicit a novel compound. Te prompts for two exist-
ing compounds are shown in (10).
(10) a. PROMPT: /mono o hosu/ dry things (+DO)
EXPECTED RESPONSE: /mono + hoi/ drying rack (existing;
b. PROMPT: /kage de hosu/ dry in the shade (DO)
EXPECTED RESPONSE: /kage + boi/ drying in the shade
(existing; +R)
All the existing compounds that the prompts were intended to elicit conform to
the putative generalization: the eight +DO items lack rendaku, as in (10a), and the
eight DO items have rendaku, as in (10b). Te prompts for two novel compounds
are shown in (11).
(11) a. PROMPT: /kucu o hosu/ dry shoes (+DO)
EXPECTED RESPONSE: /kucu + hoi/ or /kucu + boi/ shoe
drying (novel)
b. PROMPT: /yoru hosu/ dry at night (DO)
EXPECTED RESPONSE: /yoru + hoi/ or /yoru + boi/ dry-
ing at night (novel)
Te subjects were divided into two groups. Tose in one group rst heard all the
prompts for existing compounds and then heard all the prompts for novel com-
pounds. Te subjects in the other group rst heard all the prompts for novel com-
pounds and then heard all the prompts for existing compounds.
In this experimental design, the dependent variable is the number of rendaku
responses, and there are three factors: subject group (existing items rst vs. novel
items rst), item set (existing items vs. novel items), and noun role (direct object
vs. other role). In the ANOVA results, all three two-way interactions were
signicant, and so was the main efect of noun role (+DO vs. DO).
Te interac-
tions will be interpreted one by one in the following paragraphs.
13. Te three-way interaction was not signicant. Te main efect of subject group (novel items
rst vs. existing items rst) was signicant by items (F[1,28] = 33.20; p<.001) but not by subjects
(F[1,19] = 3.08; p>.09). Te main efect of item set (novel words vs. existing words) was
signicant by subjects (F[1,19] = 6.49; p<.02) but not by items (F[1,28] = 2.47; p>.12). Te main
efect of noun role (direct object vs. other) was signicant both by items (F[1,28] = 181.22;
p<.0001) and by subjects (F[1,19] = 316.31; p<.0001).
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it? :|


Existing first Novel first
Figure 3. Subject-group item-set interaction
As the graph in Figure 3 shows, the subject-groupitem-set interaction reects the
fact that the subjects who responded to existing items rst gave more rendaku re-
sponses to the existing compounds than to the novel compounds, whereas the
subjects who responded to the novel items rst gave more rendaku responses to
the novel compounds than to the existing compounds.
Tis subject-groupitem-
set interaction was surprising, since there is no reason to expect the order of test-
item presentation to have any efect on whether or not an existing word would be
produced with rendaku.
Te graph in Figure 4 shows that both groups of subjects gave more rendaku
responses to nonDO + V = N compounds than to DO + V = N compounds. Te
subject-groupnoun-role interaction reects that fact that the gap was wider for
the subjects who responded to the existing items rst than for the subjects who
responded to the novel items rst.



Existing first Novel first
Figure 4. Subject-groupnoun-role interaction
14. Te subject-groupitem-set interaction was signicant both by items (F[1,28] = 36.14;
p < .0001) and by subjects (F[1,19] = 21.86; p < .0001).
15. Te subject-groupnoun-role interaction was signicant both by items (F[1,28] = 19.46;
p < .0001) and by subjects (F[1,19] = 9.23; p < .007).
:|8 Timothy J. Vance



Existing set Novel set
Figure 5. Item-setnoun-role interaction
Tis interaction just means that the main efect of noun role (i.e., the preference
for rendaku in DO items) was stronger for the subjects who responded to the
existing items rst than for the subjects who responded to the novel items rst.
Like the graph in Figure 4, the graph in Figure 5 shows that the subjects gave
more rendaku responses to nonDO + V = N compounds than to DO + V = N
compounds. Te item-setnoun-role interaction reects that fact that the gap was
wider for the novel items than for the existing items.
Tis interaction means that
the responses to novel items were more in line with the putative generalization
about N + V = N compounds than the responses to existing items a completely
unexpected result.
Notice that the subjects produced many incorrect responses to prompts that
were intended to elicit existing N + V = N words. Despite the fact that these exist-
ing words are all DO + V = N compounds without rendaku or nonDO + V = N
compounds with rendaku, the subjects gave 36% rendaku responses for the DO +
V = N items and 22% no rendaku responses for the nonDO + V = N items. A small
amount of random error is inevitable in an experimental situation, but these per-
centages of incorrect responses are much too high to ignore. It seems likely that
the experimental situation was stressful enough to interfere with lexical retrieval,
and if so, the subjects sometimes had to coin a word rather than retrieve a known
item in response to an existing-set prompt.
In any case, in contrast to the earlier
16. Te item-setnoun-role interaction was signicant both by items (F[1,28] = 15.00; p<.001)
and by subjects (F[1,19] = 39.93; p<.0001).
17. Kaori Kabata suggests that the low frequency of some of the existing test items might also
be part of the explanation for the high error rate. As a crude way of correcting for diferences in
salience, Nakamura and Vance (2002) considered using frequency to weight each existing N +
V = N compound in the representative sample of the existing vocabulary in Figure 2, but only
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it? :|
study by Kozman (1998), noun role (direct object vs. other) emerged in this study
as a signicant factor.
5. Analogy
Ohno (2000: 161) argues that a kind of analogy is the basic mechanism for extend-
ing rendaku to new vocabulary items: Native speakers refer to existing compounds
and refer to a semantically and/or phonetically parallel form when they determine
the rendaku/non-rendaku form of a novel compound. For example, Ohno says
that /kami/~/gami/ hair always appears as /gami/ when it is the nal element
in a compound, except in the word /kuro + kami/ black hair. When Ohno
presented his subjects with (white+hair), 27 of 31 chose /iro + kami/ over
/iro + gami/. In contrast, Ohno says that /i/~/i/ blood never appears as /i/
when it is the nal element in a compound, except in the word /hana + i/
nosebleed. When Ohno presented his subjects with (ear+blood), 37 of 43
chose /mimi + i/ over /mimi + i/. Ohno assumes that the novel compounds
meaning white hair and ear bleeding strongly bias native speakers of Japanese
toward accessing the existing items /kuro + kami/ and /hana + i/. Tis is what he
means by a semantically parallel form. As a result, Ohno argues, most native
speakers choose the form for each novel compound that we would not expect if
the choice depended simply on the proportion of existing items with rendaku.
As an example of the inuence of phonetically parallel forms, Ohno com-
pares the existing compounds /waka + kusa/ young grass (without rendaku)
and /i + gusa/ rush (with rendaku). A majority (25/35) of Ohnos subjects
preferred /aka + kusa/ (without rendaku) over /aka + gusa/ for (red + grass),
but a majority (25/35) also preferred /ki + gusa/ (with rendaku) over /ki + kusa/ for
(yellow + grass). Ohno attributes the diference to the infuence of phono-
logically similar /waka + kusa/ and /i + gusa/.
Ohno (2000: 162) goes on to suggest that If there is no possible reference to
existing rendaku forms, the item does not undergo rendaku in a novel compound.
For example, Ohno says that /taka/ hawk is rendaku-immune (i.e., does not
12 of the 403 compounds are listed in the one readily available source of frequency data
(Kokuristu Kokugo Kenkyjo 1962). In any case, since the database for this source was maga-
zines published in 1956, the reported frequencies are not likely to correspond very well to sa-
lience for the subjects in Nakamura and Vance experiment, who were born around 1980. It
would be interesting to be look at the errors in existing items in the light of frequency informa-
tion from a more recent and larger database.
:,o Timothy J. Vance
alternate with /daka/).
When Ohno presented his subjects with (large +
hawk) and (red + hawk), 41 of 43 chose /oo + taka/ over /oo + daka/ and
/aka + taka/ over /aka + daka/. Ohno also says that /surume/ dried squid does
not occur as the nal element in any existing compound, and when he presented his
subjects with (large + dried squid) and (red + dried squid), 41 of 43
chose /oo + surume/ over /oo + zurume/ and /aka + surume/ over /aka + zurume/.
As Ohno (2000: 162) points out, this kind of analogy accounts for the persis-
tence of Lymans Law, even if this constraint is just a historical residue. On the
other hand, it is not clear why speakers would extend rendaku to elements they
have never heard, such as the made-up elements in the Vance 1980 experiment
that was summarized above.
6. An illusion of regularity?
Tis paper has reviewed the results of three kinds of psycholinguistic experiments,
all designed to explore some aspect of the familiar yet puzzling phenomenon
known as rendaku. Even on the generous assumption that these experiments were
well enough designed to avoid hopeless confounding by uncontrolled extraneous
variables, none of them gives us more than a tantalizing glimpse at whatever the
underlying big picture might be. It is relatively easy to makes sense of each set of
results on its own, but reconciling them all with each other and with still other sets
of results is a challenge for any theory of grammar that aspires to encompass the
(morpho-) phonological aspects of language in a psychologically plausible way.
If we take this challenge seriously, even the (sometimes vague) feelings of na-
tive speakers are part of what ultimately needs to be explained. Te analogical
decisions explored by Ohno (2000) seem to turn on perceived similarity, and it
may be that such decisions are close enough to certainty in any particular case for
any particular individual speaker that rendaku in general feels predictable. Tis
kind of predictability is not exactly the same thing as regularity, but it is not hard
to see how a person could translate a feeling of predictability into a (clearly mis-
taken) belief that there somehow must be a relatively straightforward rule that
could be discovered and even taught explicitly to non-natives.
18. Although no compounds ending in /daka/ meaning hawk are common enough to be in-
cluded in smaller dictionaries, a comprehensive dictionary such as Kjien (Shinmura 1998) in-
cludes several headwords that t this description. Tere are also species names, such as /aka +
hara + daka/ red-bellied hawk, that do not appear in ordinary dictionaries but do ap-
pear in eld guides for bird watchers.
If rendaku isnt a rule, what in the world is it? :,:
Hamano, Shoko. 2000. Voicing of obstruents in Old Japanese: Evidence from the sound-symbol-
ic stratum. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 9: 207225. DOI: 10.1023/A:1008367619295
Hasegawa, Kiyoshi, et al. (eds). 1986. bunsha waei chjiten. Tokyo: bunsha.
Ihara, Mutsuko & Murata, Tadao. 2006. Some experiments on sequential voicing. Onin Kenky/
Phonological Studies 9: 1724.
Jorden, Eleanor & Ito Chaplin, Hamako. 1962. Beginning Japanese, Part II. New Haven CT: Yale
University Press.
Jorden, Eleanor & Noda, Mari. 1988. Japanese: Te Spoken Language, Part 2. New Haven CT:
Yale University Press.
Kawahara, Shigeto. 2012. Lymans law is active in loanwords and nonce words: Evidence from
naturalness judgment studies. Lingua 122: 11931206. DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2012.05.008
Kazama, Rikiz (ed.). 1979. Tsuzuriji gyakujun hairetsu goksei ni yoru Daigenkai bunrui goi.
Tokyo: Fuzanb.
Kindaichi, Haruhiko. 1976. Rendaku no kai. Sophia Linguistica 2: 122.
Kitahara Yasuo (ed.). 1990. Nihongo gyakubiki jiten. Tokyo: Taishkan.
Kiyose, Gisabur N. 1985. Heianch hagy-shiin p-onron. Onsei no Kenky 21: 7387.
Klafehn, Terry. 2003. Emergent Properties of Japanese Verb Inection. PhD dissertation, Uni-
versity of Hawaii.
Kokuritsu Kokugo Kenkyjo. 1962. Gendai zasshi kyjusshu no ygo yji, Vol. 1: Ski oyobi
goihy. Tokyo: Shei Shuppan.
Kozman, Tam. 1998. Te psychological status of syntactic constraints on Rendaku.
Japanese/Korean Linguistics 8, David Silva (ed.), 107120. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Lyman, Benjamin Smith. 1894. Te Change from Surd to Sonant in Japanese Compounds.
Philadelphia PA: Oriental Club of Philadelphia.
Martin, Samuel E. 1952. Morphophonemics of Standard Colloquial Japanese. Supplement to Lan-
guage [Language Dissertation No. 47].
Matsumura, Akira (ed.). 1988. Daijirin. Tokyo: Sanseid.
Miyake, Takeo. 1932. Dakuon-k. Onsei no Kenky 5: 13590.
Nakamura, Kumiko & Vance, Timothy J. 2002. Rendaku in noun + verb-stem compounds: A
production task. Paper presented at LP2002, Urayasu, Chiba.
NHK Hs Bunka Kenkyjo (ed.) 1998. Nihongo hatsuon akusento jiten, new edn. Tokyo:
Nippon Hs Shuppan Kykai.
Ohno, Kazutoshi. 2000. Te lexical nature of Rendaku in Japanese. Japanese/Korean Linguistics
9, Mineharu Nakayama & Charles J. Quinn Jr. (eds), 151164. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Okumura, Mitsuo. 1955. Rendaku. Kokugogaku jiten, Kokugo Gakkai (ed.), 961962. Tokyo:
Sakurai, Shigeharu. 1966. Kytsgo no hatsuon de chi subeki kotogara. Nihongo hatsuon
akusento jiten, Nihon Hs Kykai (ed.), 3143. Tokyo: Nihon Hs Shuppan Kykai.
Seeley, Christopher. 1991. A History of Writing in Japan. Leiden: E.J. Brill.
Shinmura, Izuru (ed.). 1998. Kjien, 5th edn. Tokyo: Iwanami.
Sugioka, Yoko. 1986. Interaction of Derivational Morphology and Syntax. New York NY: Garland.
(University of Chicago PhD dissertation, 1984).
:,i Timothy J. Vance
Sugioka, Yoko. 2005. Multiple mechanisms underlying morphological productivity. Polymor-
phous Linguistics: Jim McCawleys Legacy, Salikoko S. Mufwene, Elaine J. Francis & Rebecca
S. Wheeler (eds), 204223. Cambridge MA: Te MIT Press.
Unger, J. Marshall. 2004. Alternations of m and b in Early Middle Japanese: Te deeper signif-
cance of the sound-symbolic stratum. Japanese Language and Literature 38: 323337. DOI:
Vance, Timothy J. 1980. Te psychological status of a constraint on Japanese consonant alterna-
tion. Linguistics 18: 245267. DOI: 10.1515/ling.1980.18.3-4.245
Vance, Timothy J. 1987. An Introduction to Japanese Phonology. Albany NY: SUNY Press.
Vance, Timothy J. 1991. A new experimental study of Japanese verb morphology. Journal of
Japanese Linguistics 13: 145166.
Yamaguchi, Kyoko. 2011. Accentedness and Rendaku in Japanese deverbal compounds. Gengo
Kenkyu 140: 117134.
Te semantic basis of grammatical
Its implications for modularity, innateness,
and the theory of grammar
Yasuhiro Shirai
Tis chapter reviews semantic bias observed in the acquisition of grammatical
categories, and examines its theoretical implications. It frst reviews the
acquisition of tense-aspect morphology, in particular of English, and proposes
a model of grammatical development called the input-based prototype
formation, taking examples from cross-linguistic data. I will then discuss
semantic bias observed in the acquisition of pronominal case in English,
conditionals in Japanese and Korean, causative morphology in Japanese,
nominative case omission in Japanese and Korean, and relative clause
construction in Japanese. Based on the review, I will argue against modularity
and the innateness hypothesis, which constitutes the fundamental assumptions
espoused by generative grammar, and argue for further analysis of semantic bias
in frequency distribution in the input language that children are exposed to.
1. Introduction
In a study of English acquisition, I have investigated the efect of input on the
acquisition of tense-aspect morphology, and proposed an explanation for the ac-
quisition patterns of past tense and progressive aspect markers based on input
frequency (Shirai 1991, 1994; Shirai & Andersen 1995). Specifcally, it has been
observed that in the acquisition of various languages (e.g., French, Italian, Japanese,
Greek, Turkish, English) children start to use the past tense form with telic verbs
(achievements/accomplishments) such as break, fall, and the progressive form
with dynamic atelic verbs (activities) such as play, watch. In the study of English
acquisition, I also found that about 60% of progressive morphology and of past
tense morphology in child-directed speech was used with activity verbs and
achievement verbs respectively. Importantly, this association between tense-aspect
:,| Yasuhiro Shirai
morphology and verb type was found to be even stronger (almost 100%) in early
child language. I have attributed this to childrens prototype formation of semantic
representation for these grammatical markers.
Tis paper discusses the importance of this model, which I call input-based
prototype formation for the development of closed-class items, taking examples
from crosslilnguistic data. I will discuss the acquisition of tense-aspect, pronominal
case in English (Budwig 1996), conditionals in Japanese and Korean (Akatsuka &
Clancy 1993), causative morphology in Japanese (Shirai, Miyata, Naka & Sakazaki
2000, 2001), nominative case omission in Japanese and Korean (Miyamoto, Wexler,
Aikawa & Miyagawa 1998; Lee & Wexler 2001), and relative clause construction in
Japanese (Ozeki & Shirai 2010). I will then discuss the implications of this model
for the general theory of grammatical development.
2. Tense-aspect
Bickerton (1981, 1984, see also 1999) proposed the Language Bioprogram Hypoth-
esis, based primarily on his research on the genesis of creole languages. Observing
that even genetically unrelated creole languages share common linguistic features
in domains as varied as the causative construction, nominal specifcity, and tense-
aspect marking, Bickerton hypothesized that these commonalties must come from
a bioprogrami.e., knowledge that is innately specifed for all human children.
Bickertons argument is that the commonalties among genetically unrelated creole
languages can be explained only if we postulate that children modify the pidgin
input they are exposed to in ways that are compatible with the bioprogram.
2.1 Lexical aspect
Before I discuss Bickertons proposal, let me briefy defne lexical aspectual classes
that are to be a basis for understanding the main point of the paper. Inherent aspect
(otherwise known as situation aspect or aktionsart) refers to the temporal seman-
tic characteristics of the verb and elements associated with it (arguments and some
adjuncts) (Smith 1997). Vendlers (1957) four classes are the most well-known:
State: love, exist, know, believe, think that...
Activity: run, walk, swim, think about...
Accomplishment: make a chair, walk to the store
Achievement: reach the summit, die, win the race, notice
State terms refer to stative situations that do not change unless some other force
changes them. States are stative, while the other three classes are dynamic. Among
Te semantic basis of grammatical development :,,
the dynamic situations, activity terms involve duration, but they do not have an
inherent endpoint. Tat is, one can stop the action at any time point, but the fact
remains that the action has been done. Activity is therefore atelic (non-telic), not
involving an inherent endpoint. Accomplishment terms, on the other hand, are
telic, involving a necessary endpoint. One cannot truthfully say she made a chair if
she stops in the middle of making a chair. Finally, achievement terms refer to situ-
ations that are linguistically conceived as punctual or instantaneous. Achieve-
ments, therefore, are [+punctual] and [+telic].
Tese four classes can be sche-
matically represented as follows (Andersen 1990):
State ______________ love, contain, know
Activity ~~~~~~~ run, walk, swim
Accomplishment ~~~~~~~x paint a picture, build a house
Achievement x fall, drop, win the race
In this schematization, a long solid line is used to represent states, because states
have no apparent beginning point or endpoint and endure indefnitely unless
some external force changes them. Te wavy lines for activities and accomplish-
ments indicate the dynamic duration of an action, while x for accomplishments
and achievements represents a punctual point of change of state, signaling telicity
(i.e., natural endpoint).
2.2 Language bioprogram hypothesis: PNPD and SPD
Bickerton (1981) postulated two types of aspectual distinctions that human chil-
dren are innately endowed with: the PNPD (the Punctual-Non-Punctual Distinc-
tion) and the SPD (the State-Process Distinction), both of which he claimed are
grammatically marked in all true creole languages as defned by him. He re-
viewed studies in the acquisition of French (Bronckart & Sinclair 1973) and Italian
(Antinucci & Miller 1976) in support of the PNPD, and studies in English (Brown
1973; Kuczaj 1978) and Turkish (Slobin & Aksu 1980) in support of the SPD.
Regarding the PNPD, it was observed that children acquiring French and
Italian tend to attach past marking to punctual (i.e., telic) verbs, but not to non-
punctual (i.e., atelic) verbs (Bronckart & Sinclair 1973; Antinucci & Miller 1976).

Based on this observation, Bickerton claimed that children are marking punctuality
1. Smith (1997) proposes a ffh category semelfactive, which is punctual but atelic, such as
jump, kick, knock. Although this revision of the Vendlerean verb classifcation has important
consequences for the acquisition of tense-aspect (Shirai & Andersen 1995), this paper uses the
four-way classifcation to simplify the discussion.
2. Te terminology used by Bickerton (1981) is slightly diferent from those used by aspectolo-
gists. His punctual roughly corresponds to telic, and nonpunctual to atelic as defned above.
:,o Yasuhiro Shirai
rather than pastness when they use past tense markers. Regarding the SPD,
Bickerton claimed that, because children rarely (if ever) make the error of incor-
rectly attaching progressive marking to stative verbs, they must already know the
distinction between state and non-state (i.e., process). Bickerton also noted that
Turkish children at the early stages use the indirect past marker -mIs and the direct
past marker -dI to diferentiate between static and dynamic events, violating the
norms of adult grammar. Tis, Bickerton argued, provides further evidence in
support of his hypothesis.
Bickerton (1981: 163) thus suggested that the acquisitional patterns of tense-
aspect morphology in these studies can only be explained by assuming an innate
bioprogram. He admits that a bioprogram specifcation may not appear in child
language in an explicit form, but argues that if there is some indication of a biopro-
gram at work, and if the phenomenon cannot be explained by other theories of
acquisition, this constitutes a signifcant support for the bioprogram hypothesis.
2.3 Input distribution as explanation
In a series of studies, I have proposed an alternative account for the acquisitional
patterns of tense-aspect morphology which Bickerton had earlier attributed to the
bioprogram. Te proposal is that the pattern of acquisition is primarily driven by
the distribution of the tense-aspect morphology in the input, and by childrens
initial process of category formation.
Bickerton (1981) evidently assumes that the distribution in the input has no
signifcant consequences in the acquisitional patterns of tense-aspect morphology.
In reviewing the acquisition of Italian (Antinucci & Miller 1976), which shows
that perfective past forms (referred to as participials) are only attached to punc-
tual (i.e., telic) verbs, and imperfective past forms only to activity verbs, Bickerton
(1981: 174) suggested that in child Italian perfective past and imperfective past are
in complementary distribution, the frst being used for punctual verbs, the second
for nonpunctual ones. He states:
Note that this does not refect anything in Italian grammar; all Italian verbs,
whether punctual or nonpunctual, activity or change-of-state verbs, have both
perfective and imperfective past tenses.
But while it may be possible to attach perfective or imperfective past forms to
verbs of any verb type, not all verb classes are equally likely to take perfective and
imperfective past forms in real-life language use. Tere are natural relationships
between perfective past and telic verbs (Bickertons punctual verbs) on the one
hand, and between imperfective past and atelic verbs (Bickertons nonpunctual
Te semantic basis of grammatical development :,
verbs), on the other. Leone (1990), cited in Andersen (1993), quantitatively estab-
lishes this association: in an adult-adult native speech sample (an interview), per-
fective past forms are predominantly attached to telic verbs. For example, based on
token count, 97% of the perfective past forms were attached to telic verbs (achieve-
ments and accomplishments), while 72% of imperfective past forms are attached
to atelic verbs (activities and states).
If such distributional bias is present in the input, it is not surprising that chil-
dren follow this trend in acquiring tense-aspect morphology. In my previous
research (Shirai 1991, 1994; Shirai & Andersen 1995) I tested this hypothesis by
investigating the use of verbal morphology by three children acquiring English
and by their mothers in the CHILDES database.
I found that childrens early past marking is predominantly restricted to
achievement verbs. Tis supports one of the predictions of Bickertons bioprogram
hypothesis. At the earliest, emergent stage of past tense verbs, most of the past in-
fections are attached to achievement verbs (i.e., [+punctual], [+telic]). In the ac-
quisition of English verbs, children use the bare stem as the all-purpose verbal
form at the earliest stage (Brown 1973). Ten gradually they begin to attach verbal
morphology on selective verb forms. What happens here is underextension of past
morphology; children rarely overextend past tense morphology to inappropriate
contexts (Brown 1973; Kuczaj 1976). Ten children gradually extend the applica-
tion of past tense morphology to contexts that deviate from this initial verb class,
i.e., they attach past morphology to atelic (Bickertons non-punctual) verbs, thus
approximating the adult norm.
At the same time, however, I also found that the caretakers past marking is
likewise skewed in a direction congruent with the childrens nearly absolute trend:
approximately 60% of past-tense markers in the caretakers input occurred with
achievement verbs. It may have been that this high correlation of punctuality and
telicity with past morphology resulted in the near absolute tendency observed in
the childrens output.
Let us now turn to the acquisition of progressive marking, which concerns
both the PNPD and the SPD. First, Bickerton (1981) claims that children acquiring
English frst mark non-punctuality (i.e., imperfective) by means of the progressive
-ing forms, and then later mark punctuality (i.e., telicity) by means of irregular past
tense forms.
Shirai and Andersen (1995) show that the earliest use of progressive
marking by the three children is predominantly on activity verbs, which is in
line with Bickertons claim that children acquiring English mark nonpunctuality
3. Bickerton (1981) made this prediction based on the observation (e.g., Brown 1973) that in
the acquisition of English, irregular past attains acquisition criterion (i.e., 90% supplied in oblig-
atory contexts) afer progressive -ing, but before regular past tense -ed.
:,8 Yasuhiro Shirai
(i.e., lack of telicity) by -ing. Tis again, however, can be attributed to input: Ap-
proximately 60% of the mothers uses of progressive are with activity verbs.
With regard to the use of progressive marking on stative verbs, Bickertons pre-
diction is that children will not make the error of incorrectly attaching progressive
marking to stative verbs because they know in advance the distinction between
states and non-states (i.e., what Bickerton calls processes). Shirai (1994), however,
shows that children do incorrectly attach progressive marking to stative verbs. It
was found that one of the three children studied (Naomi) used progressive mark-
ing with state verbs, and some of the uses were obviously ungrammatical (e.g.,
*seeing light, *needing). Furthermore, the pattern of error is guided by parental in-
put: the mother of this child was the only one who used progressive marking with
stative verbs, which suggests that the pattern of error is guided by parental input.
One additional piece of evidence for Bickertons SPD is the acquisition of
Turkish. As noted briefy above, there are two past tense markers in Turkish, one
for direct experiences (-dI), and the other for indirect experiences (-mIs). Accord-
ing to Bickerton (1981), who cites Slobin and Aksu (1980), Turkish children at
early stages use -mIs and -dI to diferentiate between static and dynamic events
because the distinction is innately programmed. He argues that evidentiality is not
part of the bioprogram, and therefore Turkish children misinterpret this direct vs.
indirect past as the grammatical marking that makes the state-process distinction.
Aksu-Ko (1988: 56), however, suggests an alternative, input-based account
for this phenomenon, although she does not mention Bickertons SPD. She states:
Te alternative route whereby the -mIs particle acquires the function of indicating
stativity in childrens speech can be hypothesized on the basis of a signifcant fea-
ture of baby-talk in Turkish. Although it is not an independently established fact,
it is a strongly shared observation that adults talk to infants and young children in
the evidential with -mIs. Tat is they are likely to comment on existing states or on
resultant states that have come about in the childs presence as well as otherwise,
with the -mIs particle, seemingly violating their own rules.
If adults use -mIs for states, disregarding their own norm, it is not surprising that
children mistake -mIs for a marker of stativity even without any bioprogram.
In sum, the evidence from language acquisition that Bickerton discussed to
support his bioprogram hypothesis can be accounted for by input-based learning.
Te strong initial correlation between punctual/telic verbs and past marking, and
that between progressive/imperfective marking and atelic verbs, which Bickerton
interpreted as childrens bioprogram-based marking of the punctual-nonpunctual
distinction, can instead be attributed to the skewed distribution in the input. Te
lack of overextension of stative verbs, which supports Bickertons state-process hy-
pothesis, was not observed in Shirai (1994), and incorrect use of stative progressive
Te semantic basis of grammatical development :,
was attributed to input. Next I will discuss a possible mechanism behind such a
learning pattern.
3. Distributional learning and prototype-based initial representations
Although the importance of input and particular organizations of target linguistic
structures for acquisition studies has been stressed by many researchers (e.g.,
Bowerman 1985; Ochs 1985; Clancy 1989; Lieven 1994), the actual analysis of how
input contributes to the initial representation of linguistic forms has not been sys-
tematically attempted until recently. Budwig (1996: 143) notes that although lan-
guage acquisition research has shown that children link the use of particular lin-
guistic forms with particular meanings/functions in ways not necessarily identical
with the adult model, little investigation has been undertaken regarding the basis
for such linkage.
Budwigs studies are particularly relevant to the present discussion in that she
started out from the position that children will associate particular linguistic forms
with some conceptual units that are cognitively salient (Budwig 1986, 1989). It was
indeed found that three of the six children she studied associated the frst person
nominative pronoun I with low agentivity and control, while associating the geni-
tive my and accusative me with high agentivity and control. More specifcally, these
children used my/me in situations where they act as prototypical agent, ofen by
attempting to use language to bring about change (i.e., to control the situation
around the child), as in Me open that.
On the other hand, I was ofen used with
stative verbs, which are low in agentivity and control, in that stative verbs nor-
mally do not refer to agentive actions. Budwig (1989) suggested that these children
are marking agentivity and control, which are closely related to the linguistic no-
tion of transitivity (Hopper & Tompson 1980), by using distinct forms, disre-
garding the adult model (see also Clahsen 1986, in which German children mark
low transitivity by the -t infection on the verb). Tis is in line with Slobins (1985)
Basic Child Grammar, which suggests that children use specifc linguistic forms to
mark a scene involving prototypical agents.
Budwig (1996), however, investigated the input to these three children, and
found that 59% of caretakers uses of I involved a state verb, such as I like..., I
think... Also, 61% of their uses of I are associated with non-control acts. Tis means
that there was a high correlation of stativity, which is low in agentivity and control,
4. Te issue of why children make such errors is still controversial (e.g., Schtze 1999, 2001,
Rispoli 2002, 2005).
:oo Yasuhiro Shirai
with the caretakers use of I. Tus, Budwig suggests that the input distribution may
be the source of childrens acquisitional pattern.

Te convergence of fgures between Shirais and Budwigs studies 60% is
suggestive. Shirais study also suggests the possibility that when 60% of a particular
linguistic form is associated with one particular meaning/function, then children
may make a strong connection between the two, as if the association was absolute;
about 60% of past tense morphology and progressive morphology was used with
achievement ([+punctual, +telic]) and with activity ([+dynamic, -telic]), respec-
tively, in the mothers speech, and children initially restricted these morphological
markings to those types of verbs almost exclusively. In the case of Italian, the dis-
tributional bias was more dramatic; perfective past is used with telic verbs more
than 95% in adult speech, which surely would contribute to the initial restriction
of perfective past to telic verbs by children (Antinucci & Miller 1976), which
Bickerton attributed to a bioprogram.
I argue that the mechanism behind this input-driven early restriction is that of
distributional analysis and prototype formation (see Shirai & Andersen 1995;
Andersen & Shirai 1996). Children are not just passively imitating what caretakers
say. Tey actively reorganize their linguistic representations based on the distribu-
tional information in the input, and create the initial prototype. In the case of
tense-aspect morphology, children appear to be guided by lexical aspectual fea-
tures such as telicity and punctuality in creating the initial prototype, while in the
case of Budwigs pronominal case acquisition, the three children are guided by the
notion of agentivity and control. When the initial prototype does not coincide
with the adult model, it results in underextension (past, -ing, and I), and/or over-
extension (My/me).
If we assume this type of learning mechanism on the part of children, we do
not need to posit an innate bioprogram to explain the pattern of past tense acquisi-
tion in Bronckart and Sinclair (1973) and Antinucci and Miller (1976), which
Bickerton used as supporting evidence for his bioprogram hypothesis. Further-
more, this input-based prototype formation has been tested by a simulation utiliz-
ing a connectionist network. Li and Shirai (2000, Ch.7) report a simulation of the
acquisition of English as a frst language by a self-organizing network, which
showed a pattern of acquisition very similar to that observed in human children.
Tis is important in that the network did not use back-propagation in which the
network is taught how its output difers from the target. Tus, by using unsuper-
vised learning for this simulation, Li and Shirai bypassed the no-negative evidence
5. Slobin himself has also changed his position regarding Basic Child Grammar, and now
doubts that there are any special notions that are universally grammaticizable (e.g., Slobin
Te semantic basis of grammatical development :o:
problem. Te fact that this input-based prototype formation model can be imple-
mented on a connectionist network without negative evidence suggests that it is a
realistic and viable model of grammatical development. Now, let us turn to other
areas of grammatical development to see the applicability of this model. Tere are
four other linguistic domains I would like to discuss where this prototype hypoth-
esis works well.
4. Other evidence for input-driven acquisition
4.1 Causative morpheme -sase in Japanese
Shirai, Miyata, Naka and Sakazaki (2000, 2001) found that childrens early use of
the Japanese causative -sase is mainly restricted to indirect causation such as per-
missive and assistive causation, although in the adult norm, it can be used for di-
rect causation of the manipulative/directive type. Tis initial restriction gradually
is weakened as children grow older. When we looked at the input, it was found that
the causative morphology in the caretakers speech was mostly used for permissive
and assistive causation.
4.2 Conditionals in Japanese and Korean
Akatsuka and Clancy (1993) report that Japanese and Korean children, when they
start to use conditionals, begin with what they called D-conditionals to express or-
der, prohibition and permission, such as Tabecha dame (lit.)Its no good if (you) eat,
and that the development of regular conditionals such as If I eat this, Ill have a
stomachache is slow. Tey attribute this to the high frequency of D-conditionals in
the input. Tey further observed that one Korean child who started to use both
types of conditionals at the same time had parents who used both at the same ratio.
4.3 Nominative case-marker drop in Japanese and Korean
Another interesting area where the efect of input is observed is the acquisition of
nominative case markers in Japanese and Korean. Miyamoto, Wexler, Aikawa, and
Miyagawa (1999) investigated the deletion of case markers in child Japanese, and
found that children tend to omit nominative case markers more ofen for the subject
NPs of unaccusative verbs than otherwise. Lee and Wexler (2001) analyzed the data
from Korean child language more systematically, and also found that the subject NPs
of unaccusative verbs have higher rate of nominative case omission. What is interest-
ing is that they also found that adults speech addressed to children is characterized
:oi Yasuhiro Shirai
by a higher rate of nominative case omission than adult-directed speech.
Tus, it
appears that instead of the defcient grammar (i.e., the lack of A-chain formation) as
these researchers suggested, childrens pattern of nominative-case marker omission
seems to be driven by input-based form-meaning association.
4.4 Relative clause constructions in Japanese
Finally, Ozeki and Shirai (2010) found that the head nouns of early relative clauses
that Japanese children use are mostly generic nouns and pro-forms that refer to
inanimate entities, such as mono thing, tokoro place, -no one, (72% for 2-year-
olds) and the modifying clauses involve mostly predicates referring to stative/ge-
neric attributes of the head noun modifed as in yakyuu suru mono the thing with
which (people) play baseball (73% for 2 year-olds). Tese percentages closely re-
fect maternal speech addressed to children (54% and 73%, respectively, for all
ages combined), whereas distribution in adult-adult discourse is quite diferent
(28% and 49%, respectively).
All these studies indicate that childrens early knowledge of grammatical struc-
tures is very diferent from that of adults. In particular children are semantically
restricted compared to adults, and it appears that the formation of such restricted
semantic prototypes is heavily infuenced by the input they are exposed to.
5. A methodological objection to the prototype model
One common objection to this type of prototype model is that it may refect, not
the childs competence, but just a discourse context in which the childs spontane-
ous conversation is recorded. In other words, it is just the demand of the discourse
context in which children are engaged in conversation that determined the seman-
tic bias in childrens use of grammatical forms, not because their semantic repre-
sentation is distinct from that of adults. Weist (1989) makes such an argument to
account for skewed distribution in the use of tense-aspect morphology in Polish.
Tis is a valid criticism, and the real test of whether the skewed distribution is
purely based on discourse factors must come from experimental studies. Regard-
ing tense-aspect, comprehension studies (e.g., Li & Bowerman 1998 for Chinese,
and Stoll 1998 for Russian) show that childrens competence is in fact limited, and
that children have higher comprehension scores in prototypical combinations
rather than non-prototypical combinations. In the domain of causative morphol-
ogy in Japanese, Morikawa and Onos (1997) production experiment shows that
6. Mays and Ono (1993) also report that the pattern of use and omission of nominative mark-
er -ga by a boy acquiring Japanese was strikingly similar to that observed in the input.
Te semantic basis of grammatical development :o
children, and especially younger children, have more difculty using -sase for di-
rect causation than indirect causation. Tese studies suggest that childrens re-
stricted production patterns also refect their restricted semantic representation.
6. Input vs. innateness in language acquisition
Te observations discussed in this paper considerably weaken the innateness hy-
pothesis espoused by theories of generative grammar. As is well known, Chomskys
theory of Universal Grammar presupposes innate linguistic principles to solve the
logical problem of language acquisition. Tat is, children can uniformly acquire a
highly complex grammatical system of language without negative evidence. Lan-
guage acquisition is possible only if children are endowed with innate linguistic
knowledge, the theory goes.
Much of generative research on language acquisition, therefore, investigates lin-
guistic items that are relevant to this innateness hypothesis. In this paper, I discuss
the proposal by Stephen Crain, who is one of the leading researchers in generative
acquisition research (see also Crain & Wexler 1999). Crain and Tornton (1998)
specifcally argue that innate principles (a) emerge early (b) are universal, and (c)
appear without decisive evidence from the environment. In chapter fve of their
book, Crain and Tornton (henceforth C & T) argue against the models of language
acquisition that primarily rely on input (what they call the input-matching model).
As examples of this model, they discuss Bates and MacWhinneys (1989) Competi-
tion Model and Hirsh-Pasek and Golinkofs (1996) Coalition Model. Tomasellos
usage-based model (Tomasello 2003) as well as the prototype model proposed in
this paper is also considered to be a variant of the input-matching model.
C & T argue that the input-matching model is inadequate because it cannot
explain some facts of language acquisition. In particular, they claim that the most
compelling evidence of innateness probably comes from the observation that chil-
dren sometimes make nonadult grammatical hypotheses (C & T 1998: 37). As an
example, they discuss the medial wh- an unnecessary repetition of a wh- phrase
within a sentence. For example:
*What do you think what pigs eat?
Tey argue that the input-matching model would be hard-pressed to provide an
account of this phenomenon.
However, this is not necessarily problematic for the input-matching model.
Tis can be treated as an example of incorrect segmentation (or chunking) of
linguistic units, of a sort that is ofen observed during language acquisition. Pre-
sumably, the children frst uttered the string [what do you think], which they
:o| Yasuhiro Shirai
encounter frequently, and then added [what pigs eat] to convey their intended
meaning, i.e., to ask what pigs eat. What C &T are missing is the fact that children
do not merely imitate what they hear, but actively reorganize linguistic data ad-
dressed to them, creating their own syntactic and semantic generalizations. If we
accept this simple fact, childrens non-adult hypotheses are not problematic for the
input-matching model at all.
C & Ts interpretation of such non-adult hypotheses is that they are instantia-
tions of UG. Te medial wh-, for example, can be found in some dialects of
German, and thus is part of the inventory of UG, they argue. But such an argu-
ment begs the question of which types of childrens errors are UG-driven, and
which are not, because we do not have an exhaustive inventory of UG yet. Should
we consider that childrens non-adult hypotheses concerning Japanese relative
clauses (discussed in 4.4.) part of UG? Is there such a language where relative
clauses are restricted to stative/generic predicates, as has been found in child
Japanese (Ozeki & Shirai 2010)? Should we consider that the restriction to stative/
generic predicates in early L1 relative clauses is part of UG?
C & T would also have difculty explaining individual diferences among chil-
dren. Tey state:
Clearly... diferent children encounter diferent input. Tis observation leads us
to expect diferent children to adopt diferent hypotheses assuming that they are
basing their hypothesis on experience. On the other hand, if all children in a lin-
guistic community adopt the same linguistic hypotheses, then we can infer that
language development is guided by innate principles, and not by learning-theo-
retic mechanisms (C & T 1998: 37).
Recall that three children in Shirai (1994) and four children in Akatsuka and
Clancy (1993) showed individual diferences in their acquisition of stative pro-
gressives and conditionals (respectively) as a consequence of diferent input distri-
bution they received. Tis further indicates that the development of grammatical
functors is guided by learning-theoretic mechanisms, not by innate principles.
7. Prototypes vs. modularity
Newmeyer (1983: 1314) specifcally argued against the theory of the acquisition
of syntax grounded in semantic prototypes to support the autonomy of formal
grammar. For the formal grammatical theory, syntactic categories are classical cat-
egories past tense is past tense, and progressive aspect is progressive aspect,
without internal structure; thus there is no good member or bad member of a
particular linguistic category. Te prototype theory of linguistic representation
squarely goes against this assumption, and is at odds with the autonomy of syntactic
Te semantic basis of grammatical development :o,
structure from semantics. Terefore, the notion that children are guided in their
learning of syntactic constructions by the semantically prototypical members of
the class is problematic for the formal grammatical theory.
Newymeyer based his arguments against the prototype theory on Maratsos
and Chakley (1980), an infuential paper which advocated the acquisition of syn-
tax based on distributional information. Maratsos and Chakleys argument against
the prototype model is mainly based on the observation that it is extremely rare
that children make categorical errors such as *He is nicing to them (instead of he is
being nice to them) even though the prototype theory predicts that somewhat verb-
like adjectives (e.g., nice) will be miscategorized as verbs.
Tis prediction by Maratsos and Chakley overlooks the fact that the prototype
model of acquisition is essentially an underextension model, i.e. the childs initial
semantic representation is restricted to prototypical ones only, and will be grad-
ually expanded to approximate the adult norm, and that therefore, overuse is rare.
During the process of acquisition, sometimes semantic overextensions do occur,
but these are also driven by semantic prototypes, as exemplifed in the study of
tense-aspect acquisition by Shirai (1993, 1994).
Terefore, the empirical basis of the prototype formation model is solid, and it
casts doubt on the modular theory of grammatical development where children
are assumed to acquire syntactic categories as classical categories without regard
to their internal structure.
8. What is the nature of the grammar that children acquire?
Te proponents of the innateness hypothesis generally assume a modular theory
of grammar, in which the distinction between lexical and grammatical categories
is of paramount importance. Pinker (1999), for example, proposes the words-and-
rules theory of language, in which words are manipulated by rules, the former
being learned through associative memory while the latter are manipulated by
productive computational mechanisms.
Tis approach, although elegant in some ways, cannot deal with the continu-
ous nature of lexical and grammatical categories observed in language. As gram-
maticization research shows, it is extremely difcult to draw a line between lexical
and grammatical categories, since it is a universal of language change that lexical
items grammaticize into functional elements and that therefore any language ex-
hibits what Bybee (1985) calls the lexical-derivational-infectional continuum.
Furthermore, the lexical-grammatical dichotomy approach cannot deal with
somewhat unpredictable constraints on grammatical operations observed in lan-
guage (Bolinger & Sears 1981; Pawley & Syder 1983). By making a clear dichotomy
:oo Yasuhiro Shirai
between words and rules, we lose sight of important facts of language, which con-
sists of numerous cases of semi-productive phenomena (see also Jackendof &
Pinker (2005).
Following usage-based, functional-typological-cognitive approaches to gram-
mar (e.g., Langacker 2000, Goldberg 1995, Crof 2001, Bybee & McClleland 2005),
I assume that the grammar that children need to acquire consists of large numbers
of networks of constructions with diferent degrees of productivity. At the highest
end of productivity is what has been considered to be rules while at the lowest
end are words, and in between there are numerous semi-productive constructions
such as idioms, formulas, and derivational morphemes (see Tomasello 2003 for an
elaborated scenario of how such grammar is acquired by children through input-
driven pattern fnding).
9. Conclusion
In the feld of frst language acquisition, the role of input in grammatical develop-
ment has generally been considered to be unimportant (but see Bowerman 1985).
Tere appear to be two main reasons for this. First, early correlational research
such as Brown (1973) and Newport, Gleitman and Gleitman (1977) showed that
the acquisition of grammatical morphemes and constructions did not correlate
with the frequency of these forms in caretaker speech. Second, infuential theories
of language acquisition did not place importance on input. For example, Chomskys
Universal Grammar emphasized the grammatical principles that children are in-
nately endowed with, and treated input only as trigger of Universal Grammar,
whereas Piagets constructivism and Slobins Basic Child Grammar stressed the
importance of the conceptual basis that children already have on which to map
grammatical/linguistic structures. However, research on the efect of input is not
very useful if we only investigate correlations between input frequency and acqui-
sition of various grammatical structures, as was done by Brown (1973) and
Newport et al. (1977); rather, we should look at the efect of input within a specifc
linguistic domain, as Valian (1999) pointed out. To understand the role of input in
grammatical development, we need more focused research of the type discussed
in this paper, which investigates the relationship between input and output in par-
ticular linguistic domains.
Tat will shed new light to the mechanism of language
acquisition, which in turn will help us understand the nature of grammar.
7. Recently, researchers who subscribe to the usage-based theory of language acquisition
(Tomasello 2003) have embarked on just such research, looking into the relationship between
input data and childrens language within particular linguistic domains (Cameron-Faulkner,
Lieven & Tomasello 2003 for various constructions such as wh-questions, copulas and transitives,
Deissel & Tomasello 2000 for relative clauses, Rowland, Pine, Lieven & Teakston 2003 for wh-
questions, Teakston, Lieven, Pine & Rowland 2004 for verbs and their argument structure).
Te semantic basis of grammatical development :o
Akatsuka, Noriko & Clancy, Patricia M. 1993. Conditionality and deontic modality in Japanese
and Korean: Evidence from emergence of conditionals. Japanese/ Korean Linguistics, Vol. 2,
Patricia M. Clancy (ed.), 177192. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Aksu-Ko, Ayhan. 1988. Te Acquisition of Aspect and Modality: Te Case of Past Reference in
Turkish. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511554353
Andersen, Roger W. 1990. Seminar on the acquisition of tense and aspect. Unpublished lecture,
University of California at Los Angeles.
Andersen, Roger W. 1993. Four operating principles and input distribution as explanations for
underdeveloped and mature morphological systems. In Progression and Regression in Lan-
guage, Kenneth Hyltenstam & ke Viborg (eds), 309339. Cambridge: CUP.
Andersen, Roger W. & Shirai, Yasuhiro. 1996. Primacy of aspect in frst and second language
acquisition: Te pidgin/creole connection. In Handbook of Second Language Acquisition,
William C. Ritchie & Tej K. Bhatia (eds). San Diego CA: Academic Press.
Antinucci, Francesco & Miller, Ruth. 1976. How children talk about what happened. Journal of
Child Language 3: 169189. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000900001434
Bates, Elizabeth & MacWhinney, Brian. 1989. Functionalism and the competition model. In Te
Cross-linguistic Study of Sentence Processing, Brian MacWhinney & Elizabeth Bates (eds).
Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bickerton, Derek. 1981. Roots of Language. Ann Arbor MI: Karoma.
Bickerton, Derek. 1984. Te language bioprogram hypothesis. Te Behavioral and Brain Sciences
7: 173188. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X00044149
Bickerton, Derek. 1999. Creole languages, the Language Bioprogram Hypothesis, and language
acquisition. In Handbook of Child Language Acquisition, William C. Ritchie & Tej K. Bhatia
(eds), 195220. San Diego CA: Academic Press.
Bolinger, Dwight & Sears, Donald A. 1981. Aspects of Language, 3rd edn. New York NY: Harcourt,
Brace Jovanovich.
Bowerman, Melissa. 1985. What shapes childrens grammars? In Te Crosslinguistic Study of
Language Acquisition, Vol. 2: Teoretical Issues, Dan Isaac Slobin (ed.), 12571319. Hillsdale
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bronckart, J. Paul & Sinclair, Hermina. 1973. Time, tense, and aspect. Cognition 2: 107130.
DOI: 10.1016/0010-0277(72)90032-7
Brown, Roger. 1973. A First Language: Te Early Stages. Cambridge MA: Harvard University
Press. DOI: 10.4159/harvard.9780674732469
Budwig, Nancy. 1986. Agentivity and Control in Early Child Language. PhD dissertation, Uni-
versity of California at Berkeley.
Budwig, Nancy. 1989. Te linguistic marking of agentivity and control in child language. Journal
of Child Language 16: 263284. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000900010412
Budwig, Nancy. 1996. What infuences childrens patterning of forms and functions in early
child language? In Social Interaction, Social Cognition and Language: Essays in Honor of
Susan Ervin-Tripp, Dan Isaac Slobin, Julie Gerhardt, Amy Kyratzis & Jiansheng Guo (eds,
143156). Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Bybee, Joan L. 1985. Morphology [Typological Studies in Language 9]. Amsterdam: John
Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/tsl.9
:o8 Yasuhiro Shirai
Bybee, Joan L. & McClelland, James L. 2005. Alternatives to the combinatorial paradigm of lin-
guistic theory based on domain general principles of human cognition. Te Linguistic Re-
view 22: 381410. DOI: 10.1515/tlir.2005.22.2-4.381
Cameron-Faulkner, Tea, Lieven, Elena & Tomasello, Michael. 2003. A construction based
analysis of child directed speech. Cognitive Science 27: 843873. DOI: 10.1207/s15516709
Clahsen, Harald. 1986. Verb infections in German child language: Acquisition of agreement
markings and the functions they encode. Linguistics 24: 79121. DOI: 10.1515/ling.1986.
Clancy, Patricia. 1989. Form and function in the acquisition of Korean wh-questions. Journal of
Child Language 16: 323347. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000900010448
Crain, Stephen & Tornton, Rosalind. 1998. Investigations in Universal Grammar: A Guide to
Experiments in the Acquisition of Syntax and Semantics. Cambridge MA: Te MIT Press.
Crain, Stephen & Wexler, Kenneth. 1999. Methodology in the study of language acquisition: A
modular approach. In Handbook of Language Acquisition, William C. Ritchie & Tej K.
Bhatia (eds), 387425. New York NY: Academic Press.
Crof, William. 2001. Radical Construction Grammar. Oxford: OUP. DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9
Diessel, Holger & Tomasello, Michael. 2000. Te development of relative clauses in spontaneous
child speech. Cognitive Linguistics 11: 131151.
Goldberg, Adele. 1995. Constructions. Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press.
Hirsh-Pasek, Kathy & Golinkof, Roberta Michnick. 1996. Te Origins of Grammar: Evidence
from Early Language Comprehension. Cambridge MA: Te MIT Press.
Hopper, Paul J. & Tompson, Sandra A. 1980. Transitivity in grammar and discourse. Language
56: 251299.
Jackendof, Ray & Pinker, Steven. 2005. Te nature of the language faculty and its implications
for evolution of language: Reply to Fitch, Hauser & Chomsky. Cognition 97, 211225.
Kuczaj, Stan A. 1976. -ing, -s, and -ed: A Study of the Acquisition of Certain Verb Infections.
PhD dissertation, University of Minnesota.
Kuczaj, Stan A. 1978. Why do children fail to overgeneralize the progressive infection? Journal
of Child Language 5: 167171. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000900002026
Langacker, Ronald. 2000. A dynamic usage-based model. In Usage-Based Models of Language,
Michael Barlow & Suzanne Kemmer (eds), 163. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Lee, Hyeonjin & Wexler, Kenneth. 2001. Nominative case omission and unaccusatives in Korean
acquisition. In Selected Papers from the Twelfh International Conference on Korean Linguis-
tics, Hee-Don Ahn & Nam-Kil Kim (eds), 263279. Seoul: Kyungjin Munhwasa.
Leone, P. 1990. Tense and aspect in Italian: A bias in the distribution of verbal inherent semantics
and verbal morphology. Unpublished paper, Applied Linguistics, University of California,
Los Angeles.
Li, Ping & Bowerman, Melissa. 1998. Te acquisition of lexical and grammatical aspect in
Chinese. First Language 18: 311350. DOI: 10.1177/014272379801805404
Li, Ping & Shirai, Yasuhiro. 2000. Te Acquisition of Lexical and Grammatical Aspect. Berlin:
Mouton de Gruyter. DOI: 10.1515/9783110800715
Lieven, Elena V. M. 1994. Crosslinguistic and crosscultural aspects of language addressed to
children. In Input and Interaction in Language Acquisition, Clare Gallaway & Brian J.
Richards (eds), 5673. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511620690.005
Te semantic basis of grammatical development :o
Maratsos, Michael P. & Chalkley, Mary Anne. 1980. Te internal language of childrens syntax:
Te ontogenesis and representation of syntactic categories. In Childrens Language, Vol. 2,
Keith E. Nelson (ed.), 127214. New York NY: Gardner Press
Mayes, Patricia & Ono, Tsuyoshi. 1993. Te acquisition of the Japanese subject marker ga and its
theoretical implications. In Japanese/Korean Linguistics, Vol. 2, Patricia M. Clancy (ed.),
239247 Stanford CA: CSLI.
Miyamoto, Edson T., Wexler, Ken, Aikawa, Takako & Miyagawa, Shigeru. 1999. Case-dropping
and unaccusatives in Japanese acquisition. In Proceedings of the 23rd annual Boston Uni-
versity Conference on Language Development, Annabel Greenhill, Heather Littlefeld &
Cheryl Tano (eds), 443452. Somerville MA: Cascadilla Press.
Morikawa, H. & Ono, S. 1997. Childrens understanding of causatives in Japanese: A cross-
sectional study. Paper presented at the SRCD Biennial Meeting, Washington DC, April 2.
Newmeyer, Frederick. 1983. Grammatical Teory: Its Limits and Possibilities. Chicago IL: Uni-
versity of Chicago Press.
Newport, Elissa, Gleitman, Henry & Gleitman, Lila. 1977. Mother, Id rather do it myself :
Some efects and non-efects of maternal speech style. In Talking to children: Language In-
put and Acquisition, Catherine E. Snow & Charles A. Ferguson (eds), 109149. Cambridge:
Ochs, Elinor. 1985. Variation and error: A sociolinguistic approach to language acquisition. In
Te Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition, Vol. 1: Te Data. Daniel Isaac Slobin
(ed.), 783838. Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Ozeki, Hiromi & Shirai, Yasuhiro. 2010. Semantic bias in the acquisition of relative clauses in
Japanese. Journal of Child Language 37: 197215. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000909009489
Pinker, Stephen. 1999. Words and Rules. New York NY: Harper Collins.
Pawley, Andrew & Syder, Frances. 1983. Two puzzles for linguistic theory: Native-like selection
and native-like fuency. In Language and communication, Jack C. Richards & Richard
Schmidt (eds), 191226. London: Longman.
Rispoli, Matthew. 2002. Teory and methods in the study of the development of case and agree-
ment: A response to Schutze. Journal of Child Language 29: 151159. DOI: 10.1017/
Rispoli, Matthew. 2005. When children reach beyond their grasp: Why some children make
pronoun case errors and others dont. Journal of Child Language 32: 93116. DOI: 10.1017/
Rowland, Caroline F., Pine, Julian M., Lieven, Elena V. M. & Teakston, Anna L. 2003. Determi-
nants of acquisition order in wh-questions: Re-evaluating the role of caregiver speech. Jour-
nal of Child Language 30: 609635. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000903005695
Schtze, Carson T. 1999. Diferent rates of pronoun case error: Comments on Rispoli (1998).
Journal of Child Language 26: 749755. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000999003992
Schtze, Carson T. 2001. Productive inventory and case/agreement contingencies: A method-
ological note on Rispoli (1999). Journal of Child Language 28: 507515. DOI: 10.1017/
Shirai, Yasuhiro. 1991. Primacy of Aspect in Language Acquisition: Simplifed Input and Proto-
type. PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
Shirai, Yasuhiro. 1993. Inherent aspect and the acquisition of tense/aspect morphology in
Japanese. In Argument Structure: Its Syntax and Acquisition, Heizo Nakajima & Yukio Otsu
(ed.), 6782. Tokyo: Kaitakusha.
:o Yasuhiro Shirai
Shirai, Yasuhiro. 1994. On the overgeneralization of progressive marking on stative verbs: Bio-
program or input? First Language 14: 6782. DOI: 10.1177/014272379401404005
Shirai, Yasuhiro & Andersen, Roger W. 1995. Te acquisition of tense/aspect morphology: A
prototype account. Language 71: 74362. DOI: 10.2307/415743
Shirai, Yasuhiro, Miyata, Susanne, Naka, Norio, & Sakazaki, Yoshiko. 2000. Te acquisition of
causative morphology: Why does it correlate with the imperative? In Proceedings of the
Tirtieth Annual Child Language Research Forum, Eve V. Clark (ed.), 8794. Stanford CA:
Shirai, Yasuhiro, Miyata, Susanne, Naka, Norio, & Sakazaki, Yoshiko. 2001. Te acquisition of
causative morphology in Japanese: A prototype account. In Issues in East Asian Language
Acquisition, Mineharu Nakayama (ed.), 183203. Tokyo: Kurosio.
Slobin, Dan Isaac. 1985. Crosslinguistic evidence for the Language-Making Capacity. In Te
crosslinguistic study of language acquisition. Vol. 2: Teoretical issues, Dan Isaac Slobin (ed.).
Hillsdale NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Slobin, Dan Isaac. 1997. Te origins of grammaticizable notions: Beyond the individual mind.
In Te Crosslinguistic Study of Language Acquisition, Vol. 5: Expanding the Contexts, Dan
Isaac Slobin (ed.), 265323. Mahwah NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Slobin, Dan Isaac & Aksu, Ayha A. 1980. Acquisition of Turkish. Ms. Cited in Bickerton 1981.
Smith, Carlota S. 1997. Te Parameters of Aspect, 2nd edn. Dordrecht: Kluwer. DOI: 10.1007/978-
Stoll, Sabine. 1998. Te role of Aktionsart in the acquisition of Russian aspect. First Language 18:
351377. DOI: 10.1177/014272379801805405
Teakston, Anna L., Lieven, Elena V. M., Pine, Julian M. & Rowland, Caroline F. 2004. Semantic
generality, input frequency and the acquisition of syntax. Journal of Child Language 31:
6199. DOI: 10.1017/S0305000903005956
Tomasello, Michael. 2003. Constructing a Language: A Usage-based Teory of Language Acquisi-
tion. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Valian, Viginia. 1999. Input and language acquisition. In Handbook of Child Language Acquisi-
tion, William C. Ritchie & Tej K. Bhatia (eds), 497530. New York NY: Academic Press.
Vendler, Zeno 1957. Verbs and times. Te Philosophical Review 66: 143160. DOI: 10.2307/
Weist, Richard M. 1989. Aspects of the Roots of Language: Commentary on Cziko. First Lan-
guage 9: 4549. DOI: 10.1177/014272378900902504
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable
Corpus analysis of spatial markers, Ni and E
Kaori Kabata
Tree diferent sets of empirical data are compared to examine the usage
distributions of ni and e, two particles that have been traditionally considered
to be interchangeable in marking allative relations. Te data from the
speakers judgment test are more consistent with the semantic analyses of the
two particles, exhibiting interaction between semantic contexts and particle
preference. However, the usage distributions in the spoken and written corpora
exhibited a strong bias for ni regardless of the semantic environment. Te
discrepancy between what is generally considered to be acceptable in Japanese
grammar and the actual usage data stresses the impact of the empirical data in
the further understanding of lexical representation.
1. Introduction
Recent developments in corpus linguistics have demonstrated the magnitude of
impact of usage data on linguistics research and consequently the understanding
of grammar. In particular, in the area of cognitive linguistics, a usage-based ap-
proach to language, where grammatical rules and patterns are claimed to be ab-
stracted from actual patterns of usage (e.g., Langacker 1987, 2000), corpus data
present powerful empirical evidence for the important roles of frequency and con-
ventionalization (e.g., Barlow & Kemmer (eds) 2000). Usage data also play an es-
sential role in studies of grammaticalization and acquisition processes, which are
considered closely relevant to the synchronic usage patterns of language, as dem-
onstrated by Newman and Rice (2004). Moreover, corpus data, as a collection of
actual uses, may challenge some of the previous claims about mental representa-
tions of lexical information, which have largely been based solely on a linguists
native-speaker intuitions. An examination of natural conversational data in
Japanese, for example, has revealed that sentential elements are ofen expressed
:i Kaori Kabata
afer predicates, rather than before (Ono & Suzuki 1992) and that ga, which is
generally considered a subject marker or a nominative case marker, is most ofen
used to convey pragmatic functions, signaling new and/or unpredictable informa-
tion (Ono, Tompson & Suzuki 2000). Similarly, Yamazaki (2002) has shown that
omae, a word usually translated as the second-person pronoun you, is ofen used
at the sentence-fnal position to convey speakers emotive factors.
Despite the general consensus as to the importance of empirical data, includ-
ing corpus data, in cognitive linguistics research, however, researchers have yet to
resolve methodological issues involved in such approaches. As Sandra and Rice
(1995) argue, the results of an experimental study are inevitably subject to task-
efects: While an of-line sorting task would tend to emphasize the diferences
among meanings, a similarity judgment task would more likely emphasize their
resemblance. Furthermore, an on-line task, in which measurements are taken
while participants are actually processing the meanings, would have a diferent
focus from that of of-line tasks, which are generally believed to be a more indirect
measure. Similarly, in corpus-based studies, various aspects of the corpus, includ-
ing the modes of texts and participants, would inevitably infuence the implica-
tions to be drawn from the analyses, as demonstrated by Masuda (2002).
Te primary goal of this paper is to show how diferent empirical data may
lead to diferent conclusions for linguistic categorization of elements under inves-
tigation. Te focus of this paper is the usage distributions of ni and e, which have
been traditionally considered to be interchangeable in marking allative rela-
tions (e.g., Martin 2004). Tree diferent sets of empirical data compared are;
(i) data from a native speaker judgment test, (ii) data from a spoken corpus called
CALLHOME, and (iii) data from a written corpus based on novels and essays. Te
results did not support the interchangeablility the two so-called interchangeable
particles. While the data from the speakers judgment test were more consistent
with the semantic analyses of the two particles, exhibiting interaction between
semantic contexts and particle preference, the usage distributions in the spoken
and written corpora exhibited a strong bias for ni regardless of the semantic envi-
ronment. Moreover, metaphorical use of e in the form of e-to was frequently found
only in the written texts, although e, when used by itself, was limited to the spatial
expressions. By unveiling the discrepancy between what is generally considered to
be acceptable in Japanese grammar and the actual usage patterns found in corpus
data, this study stresses the impact of the empirical data in the further understand-
ing of lexical representation.
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :
2. Semantic characterization of Ni vs. E
Ni and e, which are both used to indicate a direction or a goal, have not attracted
as much, if any, attention in Japanese linguistics, as have the locative marking ni
and de (Kumashiro 1994; Masuda 2002), the causative marking ni and o (Ikegami
1986, 1987), or the subject marking ni and ga (Kabata 1999; Shibatani 1978). Tis
lack of attention by linguists is probably due to the fact that they are simply thought
to be interchangeable (e.g., Martin 2004). Kaiser, Ichikawa, Kobayashi, and Yama-
moto, for example, state:
With V of motion, e can be used instead of ni to mark a core case (dative of direc-
tion). Whereas ni indicates the goal of a motion, e is said to be concerned more
with the direction towards the goal, but in practice the two are ofen interchange-
able (2001: 134).
Such semantic overlap between a direction marker and a destination marker is
actually far from surprising, since the two concepts are ofen subsumed under the
term allative, which is defned by Svorou (1994) as following:
If the lm [landmark] treated as the destination, then the tr [trajector] is mov-
ing in an allative motion in the direction of the lm. In this case, the implication
is that the tr has started the movement with the intention of reaching the lm, and
other things being equal, it will reach it (1994: 27) [emphasis added].
Many languages allow one grammatical morpheme to describe both relations, as
shown in (1), in Maori. Tese examples are from Bauer (1993):
(1) a. Ka hoki eeraa ki Rurunui [goal]
t/a return those Rurunui
Tey returned to Rurunui.
b. E whakahorohoro ana au ki te kaainga [direction]
t/a hurry t/a Isg the home
Im hurrying home.
Despite the semantic overlap of the two particles in modern Japanese as dis-
cussed in the previous literature, they are regarded as having developed with two
1. Below is the list of abbreviations used in this paper:
acc accusative nom nominative
all allative past past tense
conn connective qt quotative
cop copula t/a tense/aspect marker
gen genitive top topic marker
loc locative
:| Kaori Kabata
distinct functions. Although no direct record is available to indicate the origin
of ni, because most of its uses are found in the earliest written records of Japanese,
Kabata (2000) argues, based on cross-linguistics and circumstantial evidence,
that one of its most basic senses is that of describing the spatial goal. Te particle
e is generally believed to have evolved out of the noun he area, vicinity, around
7th or 8th century, taking on the sense describing a direction of motion (e.g.,
Martin 2004; Yamaguchi & Akimoto 2001). Around the middle of Heian Era
(794 1191) e started to indicate the endpoint of motion, and thus to overlap
semantically with ni.
Figure 1 provides a schematic illustration of the two distinct but related senses
of the two markers, based on the previous literature. Te basic sense of ni is the
one illustrated in Figure 1b. Te focus is on the endpoint of a motion, best de-
scribed by goal-oriented verbs like tsuku arrive, hairu enter, and tsukeru attach.
Te basic sense of e, on the other hand, is to mark the direction of a motion whose
focus is on the source or the path, as with the verbs like deru exit, susumu pro-
ceed, and mukau head (for). Verbs like iku go and kuru go do not have strong
focus on either the endpoint or the source/path, and are equally compatible
with either type of marker.
While e is generally considered as being limited to the marking of spatial rela-
tions, ni is associated with a wide array of functions marking both spatial and non-
spatial relations, as shown in (2a) and (3a). However, when used in a prenominal
phrase with the genitive marker no, e marks both spatial and non-spatial relation-
ships, as shown in (2b) and (3b):
b. GOAL marker NI
(focus on the endpoint)
c. DIRECTION marker E
(focus on the source/path)
Figure 1. Ambiguity of ALLATIVE marker
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :,
(2) a. nihon ni/e shuppatsu-suru
Japan all departure-do
(I am going to) depart for Japan.
b. nihon *ni/e no shuppatsu
Japan all gen departure
a departure for Japan.
(3) a. kodomo ga oya ni/*e hanpatsu-suru
child nom parents all rebel-do
A child rebels against his parents.
b. kodomo no oya *ni/e no hanpatsu
child gen parents all gen rebel
A childs rebel against his parents
Tus, previous literature indicates that the semantic distinction these two direc-
tional markers had originally has faded over time and e has extended its usage into
the semantic feld originally occupied by ni. However, those claims have been sole-
ly based on the researchers native intuition or at best unsystematic observation.
As Kabata (in preparation) has found, the patterns of child acquisition of these two
markers difer, with the directional marker ni emerging much earlier and being
much more frequent than e. Assuming childrens language acquisition is much
infuenced by the adults input (e.g., Hallan 2001), one would expect to fnd some
diferences between the two markers in their usage patterns by native speakers.
But how do they difer, if they do, and how can we explain such diferences? Tree
sets of empirical data are compared to address this question.
3. Ni and E in the speaker judgment data
3.1 Procedure
20 native speakers of Japanese, including 4 male and 16 female, participated in the
Te participants were all studying at the University of Alberta,
Canada, at the time of the experiment. Te participants had been living outside of
2. Tis test was conducted as part of a comparative linguistics study in which I compared the
semantic distributions of Japanese particles and those of Korean counterparts. Te results were
presented jointly with Jeong-Hwa Lee at the 6th CSDL conference, Rice University, Houston,
TX, October 1214, 2002.
:o Kaori Kabata
Japan for periods of time ranging from 5 months to 10 years, with the average be-
ing 2 years and 1 month. Tey all spoke Japanese on a daily basis.
Te stimuli for the study were 50 sentences (shown in Appendix with English
translation), which were diferentiated in terms of several semantic factors, in-
cluding the verb types (goal-oriented, path-oriented, or neutral), the tense and
aspect of the predicate (present perfect, past, or future), and the size of the location
or the container (small, middle, or large). Five sets of stimuli were prepared by ar-
ranging the 50 sentences in fve diferent random orders. Participants were asked
to read the instruction carefully and provide personal information before starting
the experiment. Te participants task was to rate the acceptability of the two
allative particles, e and ni, in each stimulus sentence. Tey were instructed to
base their judgment on their native intuition and to proceed at their own pace. Te
acceptability scale ranged from 1 to 5, with the rating 1 and 5 indicate that
participants judged ni and e as being exclusively acceptable respectively. Te rating
3 indicates that either particle is equally acceptable, and 2 or 4 that one was
more preferred to the other, although both are acceptable. Te obtained data were
subject to further statistics analyses.
3.2 Results
Te bar graph in Figure 2 illustrates the overall particle distribution of the 50 stim-
ulus sentences presented in original Japanese in Appendix. A higher or lower score
on the rating scale indicates stronger preference for e or ni by the participants. As
can be seen in the graph, ni was generally preferred over e: Te distribution of rat-
ings ranged rather narrowly from 1.25 to 3.47, with the average score at 2.33.
ANOVA tests revealed that the type of Japanese locomotive verbs goal-
oriented verbs (e.g., tsuku arrive), source-oriented verbs (e.g., shuppatsusuru
depart), or neutral type (e.g., iku go) were found to interact with the choice of
3. Te dialectal variation and deviation from so-called standard Japanese were pointed out
during the discussion at the symposium. Te author is aware that there are some dialectal varia-
tions in the usages of ni and e, as listed in Tokugawa (1989). Martin (2004: 46) also mentions that
speakers in downtown Tokyo tend to use e in place of ni. However, in this paper any dialectal
usage of ni and e, if any, were treated as individual diferences in the data. Tis decision was
made for the following reasons: (i) Variations in language use may exhibit dialectal diferences,
generational changes, etc., which are impossible to distinguish unless detailed studies are con-
ducted, which is beyond the scope of the present study. (ii) Te sentences presented in the speak-
er judgment task were written in what is generally considered to be standard Japanese, with
which all the participants were familiar through formal educations they had received in Japan.
4. Te Korean data were rather contrastive to the Japanese data, with the scores more widely
distributed ranging from 1 (only ey is acceptable) to 5 (only (u)lo is acceptable). Te average
score for the Korean data was 2.80.
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :
1 Taro went to America last week
1 2 3 4 5
2 Taro has gone to America
3 Taro will go to America
4 Taro left for America last week
5 Taro has left for America
6 Taro is going to leave for America tomorrow
9 Taro will arrive in America tomorrow
10 Taro went to the airport last week
11 Taro has gone to the airport
12 Taro will go to the airport
13 Taro left for the airport last week
14 Taro has left for the airport
15 Taro is going to leave for the airport tomorrow
16 Taro arrived in the airport last week
17 Taro has arrived in the airport
18 Taro will arrive in the airport tomorrow
19 Taro went to school last week
20 Taro left for school tomorrow last week
21 Taro arrived in school last week
22 Taro went to work last week
23 Taro left for work tomorrow last week
24 Taro arrived in work last week
25 Taro put the car inside the warehouse
25 Taro is going to the car inside the warehouse
27 the car moved inside warehouse
28 the car is going to move inside warehouse
29 Taro took the car outside the warehouse
30 Taro is going to take the car outside the
31 the car moved outside warehouse
32 the car is going to move outside warehouse
33 Taro poured tea inside/into the cup
34 Taro is going to pour tea inside/into the cup
33 the coin fell inside/into cup
36 the coin is going to fall inside/into cup
37 Taro spill tea onto the table
38 Taro is going to spill tea onto the table
39 tea spilled onto the table
40 tea will spill outside of the cup
41 Nile river pours into the Mediterranean sea
42 Taro turned his chin upward
43 Taro turned his chin downward
44 Taro turned his chin leftward
45 California is in contact with Pacifc ocean
46 my cheek came in contact with the foor
47 Taros hand came in contact with my face
48 Taros plam came in contact with my nose
49 Nevada is contiguous to Pacifc ocean
50 Taros hand almost touched my face
7 Taro arrived in America last week
8 Taro has arrived in America
ni e
Figure 2. Allative particle distribution in Japanese based on the 50 stimulus sentences
:8 Kaori Kabata
particle at a signifcant level (F = 49.91, p< .01). Te mean rating score was 1.64 for
sentences with tsuku arrive (S7-S9 and S16-S18), indicating a strong preference
for ni. With iku go and shuppatsusuru depart, the preference for e was stronger,
although even for the latter the preference was far from being exclusive. Te mean
rating scores were 2.9 for sentences with iku go (S1-S3, and S10-S12) and 3.2 for
those with shuppatsusuru depart (S4-S6, and S13-S15) respectively. Te size of the
goal location or the tense or aspect did not show a signifcant interaction with the
particle choice with any of these locomotive verbs.
In sentences describing movement into a container the container size used
in the stimuli varied from small (e.g., a cup), to middle-size (a garage), to extra
large (the Mediterranean Sea) the size of the goal location was found to infuence
particle preference (F = 18.11, p< .01). Te acceptability ratings for these sen-
tences were 1.7 with small containers like a cup (S33-S36), 2.4 with middle-seized
containers like a garage (S2528), 2.6 with large containers like the Mediterranean
Sea (S41), indicating that speakers perceived acceptability for e is higher with a
larger container.
Te data also indicated that there were rather distinct patterns of particle
preference with regard to the type of event, namely turning (S42-S44) vs. con-
tact (S45S50). In describing the former, described by mukeru turn in the stim-
ulus sentences, there was a strong preference for the particle e: Te mean scores
for S42-S44 was 2.32. In contrast, ni was judged as almost exclusively acceptable
in the sentences with fureru contact. For S45S50, the acceptability rating scores
were 1.5. Neither the direction of the turning movement (i.e., upward, sideways,
etc.) nor the size of the location for contact showed interaction with the particle
To summarize, the results of the speaker judgment test were consistent with
the semantic analyses of the two particles in general. While ni is generally more
preferred as a spatial goal marker by native speaker participants, the preference
between the two spatial markers interact with various semantic factors including
the type of locomotive verbs and the container size. Tese semantic factors are
interpreted as setting the described event as either more goal-oriented (and more
compatible with ni) or more source/path-oriented (more compatible with e).
4. Ni and E in spoken data
4.1 Methodology
Te purpose of this corpus analysis was to examine the usage distributions of
ni and e and determine whether they refect the semantic characteristic of each
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :
particle as discussed in the previous literature. Spoken speech data were collected
from a corpus of telephone conversations from CALLHOME Japanese Speech,
collected and released in 1997 by the Linguistic Data Consortium.
Te corpus
consisted of 120 fles of recorded phone conversations between the participants,
who were native speakers residing in the United States, and their family members
or close friends. Te length of transcribed conversations, which were contiguous
segments taken from approximately 30-minute-long phone calls, varied from
5 minutes to 10 minutes, totaling 1,100 minutes for the entire corpus.
All utterances containing the particle e were extracted and analyzed. In the
case of ni, since it is associated with variety of usages, only those that contain
the allative usage describing movement in the spatial domain were subject to
the analysis. Sentences that contain a verb that describe movement in the spatial
domain but are used metaphorically (e.g., used with a non-spatial noun or noun
phrase, such as ninenme the second year as in ninenme ni hairu enter the second
year) were also included in the data.
Te types of verbs and nouns that were used with the two particles were exam-
ined. Verbs were analyzed in term of the goal- or source-orientedness: while
verbs like tsuku arrive, hairu enter, and oku put/place are, in a neutral context,
characterized as profling the endpoint of the motion (i.e., the location towards
which the object is moving), and are categorized as goal-oriented. Verbs like deru
exit, shuppatsusuru depart, on the other hand, profle the location away from
which the object is moving, and are categorized as source-oriented. Verbs that are
not strongly associated with either the goal or the source of a movement were
treated as neutral.
4.2 Results
Tere were only 78 instances of e, while 639 out of the total 3898 instances of ni
were found to be used as a spatial goal marker, suggesting the dominance of ni and
the limited use of e in describing spatial goal.
Out of the total 78 instances of e, 15 instances appeared either in verbless ut-
terances, as part of a fxed phrase tsugi-kara-tsugi-e one afer another, or in a pre-
nominal phrase ...e-no discussed above in (2) and (3). Te remaining 63 instances
of e were used with 22 diferent verbs, as shown in Table 1.
Iku go, which is con-
sidered to be neutral in terms of goal- or source-orientedness, appeared with e
29 times, or 46% of all the instances. Kuru come, kaettekuru come back, which are
5. Information about LDC corpora is available at <>.
6. Te lists in the tables are for verbs and noun phrases that occurred with each particle in
more than 2% of the total instances.
:8o Kaori Kabata
Table 1. List of frequently co-occurring verbs with e and ni in the spoken corpus
(Verbs that were appear on the both lists are indicated in bold)
E Ni
Token frequency 63 Token frequency 639
Type frequency 22 Type frequency 62
iku go 29 iku go 212
kuru come 4 kuru come 69
kaetteiku return 4 hairu enter 57
deru exit 4 ireru put in 37
yoru drop by 3 deru exit 28
okuru send 2 denwasuru phone 28
tsureteiku take 2 kaeru return 22
okuru send 18
15 others verbs 15 noru get into 14
tsuku arrive 13
kaku write 13
51 other verbs 156
also interpreted as a neutral type, were used with e 4 times each. Despite the as-
sumed semantic compatibility, source-oriented verbs, such as deru exit, were
found rather infrequently in only 6 instances. Goal-oriented verbs were also used
very infrequently, with verbs like tsuku arrive and oku put down appearing in
only 7 instances altogether.
Sixty-two diferent verbs were found with ni, resulting in a token vs. type ratio
at as high as 10: 1, far higher than that of e, suggesting that some of the verbs were
used highly frequently with ni. In fact, ni was used with iku go 212 times (33%),
followed by kuru come at 69 instances (11%). Goal-oriented verbs hairu enter
and ireru put in produced 57 and 37 instances respectively, together constituting
15% of all the instances of ni, indicating its compatibility with sentences that focus
on the endpoint of the motion. Other goal-oriented verbs found relatively fre-
quently with ni included noru get in/on and tsuku arrive. However, ni was also
used with source-oriented verbs, such as deru exit, dasu put/take out and deka-
keru go out, altogether in 34 instances (5%), far more frequently than e, which
appeared with them only in 6 instances.
Te particle e was found to be fairly limited in terms of the range of collocating
NPs, as well as verbs. Only 27 diferent nouns were found in all 76 cases: Two in-
stances where e was used in an idiomatic expression or in a prenominal expression
were excluded from the analyses. Te most frequent was the demonstrative locative
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :8:
NP soko there at 13 times (17%), followed by the interrogative locative NP doko
where at 12 times (16%). Te combination of interrogative and demonstrative
locative nouns provided 33 instances, or 43% of all instances of e. Moreover, of the
12 instances of doko where, 7 instances appeared with the verb iku go, forming a
string doko e iku. E was also used with generic or unspecifed locative nouns such
as tokoro place, ... no hoo in the direction of ..., and mukoo over there.
Two hundred and sixty diferent nouns were used in the 640 instances of ni.
Te most frequently used nouns included place NPs like nihon Japan (34 instances)
and amerika America (22 instances), whose high frequency was not surprising
since the phone calls were made between the States and Japan. Defnite place
nouns like uchi home (33 instances), and gakko school (20 instances) were also
frequent in the data. Locative demonstrative NPs such as koko here, soko there,
sotchi there, kochira or kotchi here appeared 71 times (11%). Kochira and kotchi
here together comprised 28 instances, 21 of which were used with the verb kuru
come as in kotchi ni kuru come this way. Tis frequent use of ni with kuru was
somewhat contrastive to the use of e with the verb, which appeared only 4 times,
and only once with kotchi here as in kotchi e kuru.
Ni was used with various place nouns of various sizes, including countries
(74 instances or 12%), states and towns (60 instances or 9%), and buildings and
rooms (127 instances or 20%), as well as other concrete nouns like fuutoo enve-
lope, saifu wallet, and reezooko refrigerator. Ni was also used with various rela-
tional nouns such as ... no ue top, shita beneath, naka inside, ushiro back, for a
total of 33 instances, with 8 diferent nouns. Unspecifed locative nouns like tokoro
place and ... no hoo in the direction of also appeared 15 and 14 times respec-
tively. Metaphorical expressions containing temporal nouns like ni-nen-me the
second year, and abstract nouns like jootai situation and nakama circle of people
were also found, though with a limited range of verbs, such as hairu enter and
ochiiru fall into.
In sum, an examination of e and ni in spoken data has indicated that, contrary
to the expectation based on the semantic analysis, ni is much more frequently used
as a goal marker regardless of the locative sizes or the verb types. Even souce-
oriented verbs like deru exit was a lot more frequent with ni at 28 instances as
opposed to 4 instances with e. Usage distribution of e was fairly restricted both in
terms of the collocating verbs and nouns: the verb iku go comprised over a third
of the all the instances of e, and the interrogative locative NP doko where and
locative demonstrative NPs including soko there kotchi here together counted
over 40%. While ni also exhibited some of its frequent fxed patterns, such as
iku, and kotchi ni kuru, it was used with a much more variety of verbs and NPs,
suggesting its dominance as an allative marker.
:8i Kaori Kabata
Table 2. List of frequently co-occurring NPs with e and ni in the spoken corpus
E Ni
Token frequency 76 Token frequency 640
Type frequency 27 Type frequency 260
soko there 13 uchi home 34
doko where 12 nihon Japan 34
tokoro place 7 kochira/kotchi here 28
kotchi this way/here 6 amerika America 22 hoo the direction of 4 gakkoo school 20
mukoo over there 3 tokoro place 19
asoko over there 2 soko there 18 soto outside [of] 2 hoo the direction of 13
amerika America 2
namikawa (place name) 2 227 other spatial nouns 439
14 non-spatial nouns 13
17 other spatial nouns 23
5. Ni and E in written text data
5.1 Methodology
Table 3 lists the ten novels and essays used for the written corpus. All the texts,
taken on line from Aozora Bunko at, were written within
the last two decades, and were thus expected to represent current usage of the two
particles. Each instance of the two particles ni and e were extracted and analyzed
in the same manner as with the CALLHOME data.
5.2 Results
Te written corpus contained 565 instances of e, as opposed to 3013 instances of
ni as a goal-marker, demonstrating that ni is more prevalent than e in the written
texts as in the spoken texts, but that the preference did not appear as strong. Te
ratio of overall frequencies between e and ni was roughly 1 to 5 in the written cor-
pus, as opposed to 1 to 8 in the spoken corpus. However, a closer examination of
the data revealed that e is rather limited in its usage distribution, despite its overall
frequency. Te total 565 instances included 191 instances (34%) where e preceded
no in the prenominal expression ...e-no, which appeared only once in the spoken
data. Tere were also 11 instances of fxed expressions such as tsugi-kara-tsugi-e-to
one afer another and doko-e-yara somewhere (out there). Te remaining 363
instances were subject to further analyses.
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :8
Table 3. List of novels and essays used for the written corpus
Author year Title [English translation]
Akino, T. 1993 Rokku Nanajuunendai [Rock in the 70s]
Hamano, S. 1998 Shintoshi Ongaku Nooto [A Music Note in New Towns]
Ichikawa, Y. 2000 Hookago no Rockn Roll [Rockn Roll afer School]
Kareha. 2001 Great Gatsby (Translation of Te Great Gatsby by F.S. Fitzgerald)
Koba, T. 1999 Sophia
Koizumi, H. 1999 Mimizu Monogatari 2 [An Earthworm Story 2]
Kuwahara, I. 1998 Ningen no Kihon [Te Foundation of Human Beings]
Sano, R. 1993 Warera Rifutaa [We Weightlifers]
Takahashi, Y. 1997 Ongaku no Han-hooron Josetsu [Introduction to Anti-Music
Yamagata, H. 1999 Garan to Bazaaru (Translation of Te Cathedral and Bazaar by
E. Raymond)
Table 4. List of frequently co-occurring verbs with e and ni in the written corpus
E Ni
Token frequency 341 Token frequency 3013
Type frequency 165 Type frequency 710
iku go 34 hairu enter 136
mukau head (for) 19 mukau head (for) 104
susumu proceed 10 iku go 101
hairu enter 9 deru exit 91
modoru return 8 kuru come 68
aruku walk 8 tatsu stand 65
yattekuru come 8
704 other spatial VPs 2448
141 other spatial VPs 208
17 non-spatial VPs 37
Among the 363 instances of e were 22 verbless sentences. As shown in Table 4, the
remaining 341 instances of e were found with 165 diferent verbs, resulting in a
token vs. type ratio of 2 to 1, indicating a more even usage distribution of e with
verbs than in the spoken data, where the token vs. type ratio was 3 to 1. Te verb
iku go was again the most frequent in the written data, at 34 instances (10%, as
opposed to 46% in the spoken data). Path-focused verbs like mukau head (for)
and susumu proceed were also frequent at 19 and 10 instances respectively. In
contrast to the spoken data, e was used with a variety of goal-focused, neutral,
:8| Kaori Kabata
Table 5. List of frequently co-occurring NPs with e and ni in the written corpus
E Ni
Token frequency 363 Token frequency 3013
Type frequency 226 Type frequency 1354
..(no) hoo the direction of 19 ..(no) naka inside [of] 99
..(no) naka inside [of] 15 ..(no) ue on top [of] 66
gakkoo school 13
soko there 6 1088 other concrete NPs 2457
tokoro place 5 37 temporal NPs 70
doko where 5 227 abstract NPs 321
172 other concrete NPs 247
4 temporal NPs 5
44 abstract NPs 48
and source/path-focused verbs in the written data. E was used with 35 goal-
focused verbs including hairu enter (9 instances) and modoru return (8 instanc-
es). E was also used with verbs that describe non-spatial events such as changes in
the cognitive domain. Tey include kaeru change (3 instances), henkasuru change
(3 instances), seechoosuru grow (3 instances), and tenkansuru convert (2 instanc-
es). (4) presents some of the examples:
(4) a. ... sore ga subarashii mono e to seechooshi-ta.
that nom wonderful thing all qt grow-past
(and) it grew into something wonderful.
b. Fankii wa futatabi wadai wo ta e tenji-yoo to ki wo
Fanky top again topic acc else all change-will qt be
Fanky is anxious to try to change the topic again.
Turning to the distribution of NPs, 363 instances of e appeared with 226 diferent
NPs. Te most frequent was (... no) hoo the direction [of ...] (19 times), followed
by (... no) naka inside (15 times) and gakkoo school (13 times). Demonstrative
NPs, such as soko there, koko here, and kochira here/this way, and the interroga-
tive locative NP, doko where, which together occupied 43% of the total instances
of e in the spoken data, appeared only 14 times (less than 4%) in the written data.
Moreover, unlike the spoken data, the written data contained 48 instances of e
found with 44 abstract nouns, many of which were used with verbs describing
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :8,
spatial motions, such as oikomu chase, michibiku lead, and tsuresaru take (some-
body) away. Some of the examples are shown in (5):
(5) a. ...kyokugenjookyoo e jibun o oikomi...
ultimate state all self acc chase
... chase himself into the ultimate state, and...
b. mata tsugi no mokuhyoo e mukat-te-iku.
again next gen goal all head-conn-go
(then) he moves on again to head for the next goal.
However, a closer examination revealed many of the instances of e used with goal-
focused verbs, and most of those with non-spatial verbs, appeared before the par-
ticle to as in ...e-to V, as illustrated in (4a) above. In fact, 142 instances of e were
followed by to in the written data, comprising 42% of all the instances where e was
used with a verb. Among the 142 instances of e-to were 24 where e was used with
a goal-oriented verb, including 4 with hairu enter and all the 5 instances with
tsunagaru connect. It was also found that 29 out of the 37 instances (78%) of non-
spatial verbs, and 38 of 48 instances (78%) of abstract nouns appeared with e-to.
Table 6 illustrates the distribution of VPs and NPs with e afer all the instances
with e-no, e-to and verbless sentences are excluded. While the lists of the frequent-
ly co-occurring verbs or nouns are not very diferent from those in Tables 4 and 5,
the number of non-spatial VPs and NPs are radically lower, indicating that the
function of e, unless used with to, is mostly limited to the spatial expressions. Only
Table 6. Distribution of VPs and NPs used with e with e-no, and e-to excluded
Token frequency 201 Token frequency 202
Type frequency 106 Type frequency 127
iku go 33 ..(no) hoo the direction 14
susumu proceed 8 [of] gakkoo school 12
mukau head (for) 8 ..(no) naka inside [of] 9
modoru return 7 sentoo public bath 6
yattekuru come 7 dokoka somewhere 4
hairu enter 5 doko where 4
utsusu move 4 soko there 4
okurikomu send in 4 ...(no) tokoro place 4
deru exit 4
114 other concrete NPs 150
90 other spatial VPs 118 5 abstract NPs 5
7 non-spatial VPs 7
:8o Kaori Kabata
11 instances were found where e was used to describe an abstract event, as in
mokuhyoo e mukau head for an aim and kyokugenjookyoo e oikomu chase (some-
body) into an extreme situation. Only 1 instance was found where e was used with
a non-spatial VP and an abstract NP.
Compared to e, ni was used more frequently and in a wider range of colloca-
tion environment in the written texts as well, exhibiting again its dominant status
in the semantic expression of spatial goals. While ni also appeared with other par-
ticles following it, such as mo also (as in ni-mo), wa (a topic maker), made until,
and demo as well, in 103 instances, unlike the occurrences of e, none of the uses of
ni in these cases were seen to deviate from the function of marking a spatial goal:
the other particle was used to add some discourse-level information and the sen-
tences would be just as acceptable if ni were used by itself. Te allative use of ni
was found in 3013 instances with 710 diferent verbs, resulting in a token vs. type
ratio 4 to 1, as opposed to 2 to 1 for e, indicating that some verbs were closely as-
sociated with ni. All types of verbs, including goal-oriented and source- or
path- oriented verbs, as well as those that are neutral, were found at high fre-
quency. As shown in Table 4, among the most frequently used verbs in the data
were hairu enter, a goal-oriented verb, mukau head (for) and deru exit, both
path/source-oriented verbs. Verbs that are neutral in terms of goal- or source-
orientedness, such as iku go and kuru come, also appeared frequently.
Ni was used with 1354 diferent NPs, with very few of them appearing more
frequently than 2% or even 1% of the total instances, as shown in Table 5. Non-
spatial nouns were used with spatial verbs to describe abstract events in 391 in-
stances (13%). Tey included temporal expressions like mirai future as in mirai ni
(...wo) hakobu carry ... to the future, and abstract nouns like kokoro mind, ket-
suron conclusion used in expressions like kokoro ni todoku reach ones mind or
ketsuron ni tassuru reach a conclusion.
6. Discussion
Findings from the present study indicate discrepancy among what is generally
believed as their semantic property based on semantic analyses, native speakers
perception of semantic distribution of e and ni, and their actual use. Compared to
the native speaker judgment data, nis dominance over e as a spatial goal marker
was much more robust in the spoken and written corpus data, with the frequency
7. Of course, there are many instances where ni is used to describe non-spatial, abstract
events. In this particular study, however, only the instances were ni appears with spatial verbs
were subject to the analysis.
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :8
ratio of instances of e to ni at roughly 1 to 8 and 1 to 5 respectively. While native
speaker ratings in the judgment test indicated a higher acceptability of e in sen-
tences with a focus on the source, e was not found any more frequently than ni
with source-/path-focused verbs in neither the spoken nor the written corpus.
On the other hand, there was a strong preference for ni in contexts with a focus on
the endpoint of a movement, both in the experimental data and in the corpus data.
Although noun type exhibited interaction with particle choice with verbs with a
meaning related to enter in the native speaker judgment test, the corpus data in-
dicated that ni is preferred in such contexts regardless the size of the location.
Te data also indicated that there are certain characteristics in the patterns of
particle uses in spoken and written texts. Te spoken text included certain groups
of expressions that appeared repeatedly. For example, e appeared with locative de-
monstrative or interrogative nouns soko there and doko where nearly half the
time in the spoken corpus, but only 5% in the written corpus. Similarly, iku go was
the most frequently used verb both with e and ni in the spoken texts, at 46% and
33% of all the instances respectively, but it appeared only about 10% with e and less
than 5% with ni in the written texts.
Te use of e in the written texts exhibited diferent usage patterns from those
in the spoken texts. Te prenominal expression e-no was particularly frequent in
the written text, appearing 34% of all the instances of e, as opposed to one single
occurrence in the spoken text. Te uses of e in describing abstract events were
found only with the written text, and most of them appeared with e-to, which ap-
peared 142 times in total. It seems that e-to functions as a complex particle, like
e-no, and marks both spatial and non-spatial goal, as does e-no. E-to was used to
describe both spatial events, shown in (6a) and abstract events with which neither
e nor to can be acceptable without each other, as shown in (6b). Te examples are
taken from the written corpus:
(6) a. boku wa shibafu o tsukkit-te, jibun no uchi {e-to/e}
I top lawn acc go through-conn self gen home
I hurried home across the lawn.
b. hito wa kooyuu no naka de fukusuu no kachikan
person top friendship gen inside loc multiple gen value acc
o motta ningen {e-to / *e / *to} seechooshi-te-iku no da.
have human grow-conn-go nom cop
People grow up to become a human being with multiple value sys-
tems being (involved) in friendship.
:88 Kaori Kabata
Te function of e-to seems to have largely been neglected in Japanese linguistics.
Martin (2004: 10078) is among the few who discuss the e-to expression, but lim-
its himself to saying that e-to emphasizes the goal sense. Martin fails to recognize
the fact that in todays Japanese e-to can mark non-spatial relations that e alone
would not: While e was used to describe non-spatial goals in some instances, the
extent of such uses was still fairly limited to fxed expressions. How e-to has devel-
oped and is going to develop is an interesting issue, which I hope will be further
investigated in a future study.
Further examination of usage patterns of e and ni revealed some semantic
characteristics of certain verbs. In the spoken texts, iku go was the most frequent-
ly used verb both with e and ni (46% and 33% of the total instances of each parti-
cle), whereas kuru come was used almost exclusively with ni. Kuru appeared with
ni in 69 instances (11% of all the instances of ni), but with e in only 4 instances (6%
of all the instances of e). Moreover, 22 of the instances where kuru occurred with
ni made use of the expression koko/kotchi ni kuru come here/this, while iku took
a wider range of locative nouns as its landmark. Although the two deictic verbs are
commonly treated as if they difer only in terms of the direction of movement,
they seem to also difer in the degree of specifcity of the landmark, likely with
kuru indicating more focus on the goal. A similar usage pattern was observed for
the verbs ireru put in vs. dasu take out and hairu enter vs. deru exit. While the
source-focused verbs dasu and deru were used both with e and ni, the goal-fo-
cused verbs ireru and hairu were used almost exclusively with ni.
Despite the common assumption of the interchangeability of e and ni, the results
suggested that native speakers are not using these two particles randomly, as com-
monly suggested in dictionaries and grammar books. Rather, ni has become domi-
nant in the semantic feld of spatial goal marking to the point where e is used in a
very limited contexts, both in terms of the overall frequency of occurrence and in
terms of the types of nouns and verbs it takes. Tis is rather contradictory to the
previous literature, which implies that e has extended its function to take on the goal-
marking function previously associated with ni. At the same time, e seems to have
acquired a grammatical function to mark abstract relations when used with no in the
adnominal marker e-no or with to in e-to. Te high frequency of e-no and e-to in
written texts further suggests the discrepancy between spoken and written speech.
Tese fndings are, however, only tentative due to limitations of the study. A
future experimental study will have to be based upon a larger corpus and be tested
with more participants. Individual diferences should also be taken into consider-
ation. Te fndings also have to be tested against diferent types of corpus data.
While representing spontaneous unprepared speech, telephone conversations may
deal with diferent topics from face-to-face conversations, which might have infu-
enced the data. More diferent types of written texts also need to be analyzed.
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles :8
7. Implication to grammar
Over the last two decades, cognitive and functional linguists have devoted their
research to demonstrate that language must be described as an integral facet of
overall psychological organization, and that well-formedness judgments are of-
ten matters of degree, and refect the subtle interplay of semantic and contextual
factors (Langacker 1988: 45). Moreover, such a view of grammar diverges from
that generally held by formal linguists who maintain that language is a self-
contained module and that grammar is an algorithmic system that generates only
grammatical sentences. Based on three diferent types of empirical data, the results
of this study have provided a supporting piece of evidence for the cognitive
linguistics view of the grammar, by showing that the speakers use of the two goal-
marking particles, which have been traditionally treated as if they were semanti-
cally poor and were mainly associated with grammatical functions, indicate the
interaction between the their conceptualization of the situation and the semantics
of the particles. Te two particles are not used randomly, nor are as interchange-
able as suggested by some of the previous studies.
Te results of the present study have, however, suggested we need to further
establish the empirical methods to approach the issues dealing with grammar. Te
discrepancy between the speakers judgment data and the frequency data from the
spoken and written corpora leaves us wonder what is indicated by acceptability or
interchangeability. Assuming that grammar is at least in part acquired through
entrenchment and conventionalization (e.g., Tomasello 2000), frequency data
from the actual usage should be expected to play some role in determining the
nature of lexical items or constructions, as argued by Newman and Rice (2004).
But what role they should play is yet to be established.
Te results of this study also provided yet another piece of evidence for the
discrepancies between the language uses between spoken and written texts. While
the cognitive linguistics view to grammar assumes the variation among speakers,
how can it accommodate the variation within speakers? Previous studies have al-
ready demonstrated the two texts difer in a variety of grammatical features, in-
cluding word order, choice of lexical and grammatical morphemes, and syntactic
complexity (Quaglio & Biber 2006). Te present study has shown that the usage
patterns of grammatical morphemes, namely particles, may also difer. Does such
diference, then, indicate that there are two sets of grammar, one for spoken and
the other for written? Tere is also the issue of individual diferences: What is ac-
ceptable to one speaker may not be as acceptable to another. It may be due to
dialectal variation, or to generational variation. On the other hand, it may simply
refect diferences in the conceptualization of events. Language is dynamic, refect-
ing the fexibility and elasticity of speakers minds. Further development of corpus
:o Kaori Kabata
linguistics will help us better understand the nature of grammar and its role in
capturing the dynamicity of language.
Barlow, Michael & Kemmer, Suzanne. 2000. Usage Based Models of Language. Stanford CA:
Bauer, Winifred. 1993. Maori. London: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9780203403723
Hallan, Naomi. 2001. Path to prepositions?: A corpus-based study of the acquisition of a lexico-
grammatical category. In Frequency and the Emergence of Linguistic Structure [Typological
Studies in Language 45], Joan L. Bybee & Paul Hopper (eds), 91120. Amsterdam: John
Ikegami, Yoshihiko. 1986: Te goal as agent. Sophia Linguistica 2021:714.
Ikegami, Yoshihiko. 1987. Source vs. goal: A case of linguistic dissymmetry. In Concepts of
Case, Ren Dirven & Gnter Radden (eds), 122146. Tbingen: Gunter Narr.
Kabata, Kaori. 1999. On the agent/experiencer continuum: A cognitive approach to the ga/ni
alternation in Japanese. In Te Twenty-Fifh LACUS Forum, Shin-Ja Hwan & Arle R.
Lommel (eds), 375386. Chapel Hill NC: LACUS.
Kabata, Kaori. 2000. Japanese Ni: A Cognitive Analysis of a Lexically Complex Particle. PhD
dissertation, University of Alberta.
Kabata, Kaori. In prep. A corpus-based study of child acquisition of Japanese particles.
Kaiser, Stefan, Ichikawa, Yasuko, Kobayashi, Noriko & Yamamoto, Hilofumi. 2001. Japanese: A
comprehensive Grammar. London: Routledge.
Kumashiro, Toshiyuki. 1994. On the conceptual defnitions of adpositions and case markers: A
case for the conceptual basis of syntax. In Papers from the Tirtieth Regional Meeting of
the Chicago Linguistic Society, Katharine Beals et al. (eds), 236250. Chicago IL: CLS.
Langacker, Ronald W. 1987. Foundations of Cognitive Grammar, Vol. 1: Teoretical Prerequisites.
Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Langacker, Ronald W. 1988. An overview of cognitive grammar. In Topics in Cognitive Linguis-
tics [Current Issues in Linguistic Teory 50], Brygida Rudzka-Ostyn (ed.), 348. Amsterdam:
John Benjamins.
Langacker, Ronald W. 2000. A dynamic usage-based model. In Barlow & Kemmer (eds), 164.
Martin, Samuel Elmo. 2004. A Reference Grammar of Japanese. Honolulu HI: University of
Hawaii Press.
Masuda, Kyoko. 2002. A Cognitive Approach to Japanese Locative Postpositions Ni and De: A
Case Study of Spoken and Written Discourse. PhD dissertation, University of Arizona.
Newman, John & Rice, Sally. 2004. Patterns of usage for English sit, stand, and lie: A cognitively-
inspired exploration in corpus linguistics. Cognitive Linguistics 15(3): 352396. DOI:
Ono, Tsuyoshi & Suzuki, Ryoko. 1992. Word order variability in Japanese conversation: motiva-
tions and grammaticization. Text 12(3): 429445. DOI: 10.1515/text.1.1992.12.3.429
Ono, Tsuyoshi, Tompson, Sandra A. & Suzuki, Ryoko. 2000. Te pragmatic nature of the so-
called subject marker ga in Japanese: Evidence from conversation. Discourse Studies 2(1):
5584. DOI: 10.1177/1461445600002001003
Interchangeability of so-called interchangeable particles ::
Quaglio, Paulo & Biber, Douglas. 2006. Te grammar of conversation. In Te Handbook of
English Linguistics, Bas Arts & April McMahon (eds). Oxford: Blackwell. DOI:
Sandra, Dominiek & Rice, Sally. 1995. Network analyses of prepositional meaning: Mirroring
whose mind-the linguists or the language users? Cognitive Linguistics 6: 89130. DOI:
Shibatani, Masayoshi. 1978. Nihongo no bunseki (An analysis of Japanese language). Tokyo:
Svorou, Soteria. 1994. Te Grammar of Space [Typological Studies in Language 25]. Amsterdam:
John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/tsl.25
Tokugawa, Munemasa. 1989. Nihon hogen daijiten (A comprehensive dictionary of Japanese
dialects). Tokyo: Shogakukan.
Tomasello, Michael. 2000. Te item-based nature of childrens early syntactic development.
Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4(4): 156163. DOI: 10.1016/S1364-6613(00)01462-5
Yamaguchi, Akido & Akimoto, Morihide. 2001. Nihongo bunpoo daijiten (A comprehensive dic-
tionary of Japanese grammar]. Tokyo: Meiji Shoin.
Yamazaki, M. 2002. From PERSON marker to AFFECT marker: Te grammaticization of the
Japanese 2nd person singular pronoun omae in confict talk. Paper presented at the 6th
Conference on Conceptual Structure, Discourse, and Language, October 1114, 2002, Rice
University, Houston TX.
List of stimulus sentences in the native speaker judgment test.
1. __ Taro went to America last week.
2. __ Taro has gone to America.
3. __ Taro will go to America.
4. __ Taro lef for America last week.
5. __

Taro has lef for America.

6. __ Taro is going to leave for America tomorrow.
7. __ Taro arrived in America last week.
8. __ Taro has arrived in America.
9. __ Taro will arrive in America tomorrow.
10. __ Taro went to the airport last week.
11. __ Taro has gone to the airport.
12. __ Taro will go to the airport.
13. __ Taro lef for the airport last week.
14. __ Taro has lef for the airport.
15. __ Taro is going to leave for the airport
:i Kaori Kabata
16. __ Taro arrived in the airport last week.
17. __ Taro has arrived in the airport.
18. __ Taro will arrive in the airport tomorrow.
19. __ Taro went to school last week.
20. __ Taro lef for school tomorrow last week.
21. __ Taro arrived in school last week.
22. __ Taro went to work last week.
23. __ Taro lef for work tomorrow last week.
24. __ Taro arrived in work last week.
25. __ Taro put the car inside the warehouse.
26. __ Taro is going to the car inside the warehouse.
27. __ Te car moved inside warehouse.
28. __ Te car is going to move inside warehouse.
29. __ Taro took the car outside the warehouse.
30. __ Taro is going to take the car outside the
31. __ Te car moved outside warehouse.
32. __ Te car is going to move outside warehouse.
33. __ Taro poured tea inside/into the cup.
34. __ Taro is going to pour tea inside/into the cup.
35. __ Te coin fell inside/into cup.
36. __ Te coin is going to fall inside/into cup.
37. __

Taro spill tea [out of the cup and] onto the

38. __ Taro is going to spill tea onto the table.
39. __ Tea spilled onto the table..
40. __ Tea will spill onto the table..
41. __ Nile River pours into the Mediterranean Sea.
42. __ Taro turned his chin upward.
43. __ Taro turned his chin downward.
44. __ Taro turned his head lefward.
45. __ California is in contact with Pacifc Ocean
46. __ My cheek came in contact with the foor.
47. __ Taros hand came in contact with my face.
48. __ Taros palm came in contact with my nose.
49. __ Nevada is contiguous to Pacifc Ocean.
50. __ Taros hand almost touched my face.
Te re-examination of so-called clefs
A study of multiunit turns in Japanese
Junko Mori
Using conversation analysis as a central tool for analysis, this chapter examines
how conversational participants utilize a clef construction, which begins with
-no wa topic clause, as a resource to construct and process their turns at talk.
Unlike the well-formed structure of this construction described in reference
grammar, it is rare for the speakers in talk-in-interaction to end the unit initiated
with the -no wa topic clause with a clause marked by a nominalizer. Te current
analysis demonstrates how the the -no wa topic clause serves as a prospective
indexical that pre-announces the nature of the forthcoming extended talk and
provides the recipients an interpretive framework, and thereby contributes to the
investigation of the mutual relationship between interaction and grammar.
1. Introduction
Te aim of this chapter is to demonstrate how the methodological framework of
conversation analysis (CA) (cf. Sacks, Scheglof & Jeferson 1974) conceptualizes
grammar in its studies of talk-in-interaction. More precisely, the chapter explores
how grammar serves as a resource for conversational participants to construct and
process their turns at talk and thereby organize their participation in interaction.
To exemplify this perspective, this study examines one type of clef constructions
in Japanese as it is used in talk-in-interaction. Te following sentence introduced
by Iwasaki (2002: 207) represents the target construction:
(1) Iwasaki (2002: 207)
[daredemo shitte-iru] no wa
anyone know nml top
[ningen wa itsuka wa shinu] to yuu koto da.
man top someday top die qt say nml cop
What everyone knows is the fact that people eventually die.
:| Junko Mori
As shown in (1), this construction, which can be considered comparable to the
English WH-clef construction, essentially takes the basic topic-comment struc-
ture, X wa Y da: a complement marked by the nominalizer no and the topic mark-
er wa is followed by a complement marked by a nominalizer such as koto and the
copula da, which constitutes the comment component. Indeed, Harada (2000: 439
[originally published in 1972]) asserts that the predicate component in this con-
struction must consist of a noun phrase and a copula.
As we examine spontaneous talk-in-interaction, however, we fnd many cases
in which the -no wa topic clause is not followed by a corresponding comment
component marked by a nominalizer, even though what follows the topic clause
develops into a full clause or longer. To be more exact, 27 cases of such utterances
are found in the current database of approximately fve hours of conversations and
interviews. In fact, the well-formed structure such as shown in (1) never appears
in this database.
Te following excerpts exemplify the kinds of cases found in the
data (the transcripts consist of original Japanese utterances, interlinear glosses,
and approximate English translations, which do not necessarily refect the struc-
tural features of original Japanese utterances. Te transcription conventions and
abbreviations are provided in the appendix):
(2) [Homestay 30105]
((A graduate research assistant is interviewing Aoyama, a middle-aged
woman, who has hosted a number of international students.))
Aoyama: ... = tada watashi ga ichiban yana no wa, .hh
but I S most unpleasant nml top
ukeireru toki wa kitai to:: .hh yaa:
accept time top expectation and
ano atarashii kata to no deai de ne?
uhm new person with lk encounter cop fp
... but what I dont like most is, when I take them in,
because of expectations and excitement for meeting a
new person,
1. Te database for this study consists of six face-to-face conversations and four interviews
that were videotaped for the project titled Learning Trough Listening Towards Advanced
Japanese Profciency conducted under the Center for Advanced Language Profciency Educa-
tion and Research (CALPER) <>. Te participants in these
interactions were provided with topics such as cultural diferences, intercultural communica-
tions, gender roles, educational systems, and so on, which are frequently covered in intermedi-
ate and advanced Japanese language textbooks. Te participants include both males and females,
whose ages range from their early twenties through their sixties at the time of recording.
Te re-examination of so-called clefs :,
IR: [ha:i
Aoyama: [sugoku tanoshii desu kedo, .hhh
really fun cop but
kaeru toki ga iya desu ne yappari. =
return time S unplesant cop fp expectedly
It is really fun, but .hhh I dont like the time when they go
home, as you might expect.
IR: = aa::::
(3) [Kokusaika 3645]
((Tree graduate students in the twenties, Aya, Nori, and Shin, are talking
about their international experiences.))
Aya: watashi ga omotta no WA, nihon GA,
I S thought nml top Japan S
amerikakabureshiteru no to issho DE::,
Americanized nml with same cop
kankoku mo::, (0.5) >nihonkabureshiteru mitaina<
Korea also Japanized like
tokoro [o kanjita [tokoro ga aru no ne,
aspect O felt aspect S exist nml fp
What I thought was, like in the same way in which Japan has
been Americanized, Korea, too (0.5) has been Japanized, there
are things that I felt that way.
Shin: [aa::::: [
Nori: [aa:: soo na n da.
oh so cop nml cop
Oh::, is that so.
(4) [Kyoiku 3510]
((A graduate research assistant is interviewing a male middle school prin-
cipal on various issues concerning the on-going educational reform.))
Principa1: ... tada watashi jishin ga omotteiru no wa ne,
but I self S think nml top fp
:o Junko Mori
senseitachi ni mo iu n desu ga, .hhh
teachers dp also say nml cop but
ichijikanjuu o hyooka no tame ni
one-hour-entire O assessment lk purpose for
jugyoo o suru n ja nai yo to.
class O do nmk cop:top neg fp qt
... but what I myself think is, I tell other teachers this, too, but,
.hhh it is not that we design the entire class hour just for the
purpose of assessment.
IR: un
uh huh.
Principal: kodomotachi ni rikaisaseru tame ni ri- (0.5)
children dp understand:cau purpose for
jugyoo suru n de.
class do nml cop
We do it for the purpose of having kids understand the mate-
IR: ha:::
As shown above, in spontaneous talk-in-interaction, we can observe units initiat-
ed with the -no wa clause ending not with a nominalizer, but with the reappear-
ance of the verb or nominal adjective used in the topic clause (as shown in (2)), or
with the occurrence of a verb or nominal adjective diferent from, but similar to,
the one used in the topic clause (as shown in (3)). Other cases include those that
are marked by the quotative particle to (as shown in (4)), or those that are not ac-
companied by any clear grammatical marking that could indicate the end of the
corresponding comment component (as examined later in this chapter). From the
perspective of prescriptive grammar, these utterances may be considered ill-
formed performance errors, but the fact that such a practice ofen occurs in
interactions involving diferent speakers tells us something about the nature of
grammar-in-interaction. Further, in some of these cases, several other units of talk
are produced between the -no wa topic clause and the clause ending with a verb or
nominal adjective that corresponds to the topic clause, seemingly marking a pos-
sible completion of the extended talk, as we will see in the analysis section. Name-
ly, the -no wa topic clause appears to initiate or project what is called a multiunit
Te re-examination of so-called clefs :
turn (e.g., Scheglof 1982, 1996), serving as a prospective indexical (Goodwin
1996) of the subsequent talk of the current speaker and establishing an interpreta-
tive framework for the recipients of the talk.
Tis study investigates the interrela-
tionship between this grammatical practice (cf. Lerner & Takagi 1999; Hayashi
2001, 2004a) and the sequential organization of the talk and actions accomplished.
In particular, it investigates how the target construction afects the initiation and
realization of a multiunit turn, paying close attention to both the current speakers
and the recipients treatments of the ongoing development of talk.
Te following Section 2 briefy reviews previous studies on clef constructions
and clarifes the analytical approach taken by the current study. Section 3 summa-
rizes the fndings of conversation analytic inquiries concerning how the turn-taking
operation may shif from the participants exchange of single-unit turns to one par-
tys initiation of a multiunit turn. Subsequently, Section 4 provides close analyses of
two excerpts of multiparty interaction that involve the target construction in order to
demonstrate how the trajectory presented by the -no wa topic clause, along with co-
occurring non-verbal behaviors, infuence the ongoing development of talk-in-inter-
action and the shif in the participation framework. Finally, the concluding section
discusses the implication of this observation to the conceptualization of grammar.
2. Discourse functional studies of clef constructions
Over the last thirty years, a number of studies have examined the use of clef con-
structions in discourse (e.g., Gundel 1977; Prince 1978; Kamio 1990; Collins 1991;
Geluykens 1991; Kim 1995; Weinert & Miller 1996; Jucker 1997; Davidse 2000;
Lambrecht 2001; Herriman 2003, 2008; Hopper 2004, 2007 among others).
cepts such as given/known versus new (e.g., Prince 1978; Kamio 1990), foreground
versus background (Jucker 1997) or focus /emphasis (e.g. Gundel 1977; Geluykens
1991) have been introduced to discuss how such constructions may contribute to
the management of information status and the construction of discourse. Other
studies such as Weinert and Millers (1996) suggest that WH-clefs ofen introduce
topics or mark an important starting point for the following discourse. More re-
cently, Herriman (2003) discusses how WH-clefs can be used as a rhetorical device
to gain more argumentative force and argues that basic WH-clefs ofen involve a
contrastive development of what has previously been expressed in the text. What is
2. See Hayashi (2004b) for the analysis of another example of a prospective indexical in
Japanese, i.e., the distal demonstrative pronoun are.
3. Te fact that the majority of studies reviewed in this section are based on English data is
simply because, to my knowledge, there are few studies of this Japanese construction that have
taken discourse-functional approaches.
:8 Junko Mori
common among these studies is their concentration on written corpus (some of
them rely on invented examples) or spoken narratives. Even when the databases
that are used include conversational data, little attention has been paid to the inter-
actional dimension of conversation or the recipients reaction to the unfolding talk.
Indeed, Geluykens (1991: 354) explicitly acknowledges this shortcoming.
Among previous studies on clef constructions, the approaches taken by Kim
(1995) and Hopper (2004) are probably the closest to that taken in the current
study because they consider the kinds of service WH-clefs can provide for inter-
actional enterprises in spontaneous English conversations. Te fndings reported
by them parallel what was observed in the Japanese data examined in this study.
For instance, Kim (1995: 251) reports that verbs marking a speaker-internal
state such as realize, want, feel, think, know, hesitate, enjoy, see, object to, bother,
etc., and verbs marking a metalinguistic dimension such as mean, say, etc. consti-
tute the majority of WH-clefs found in his English conversational data and that
many of them are used with the frst person subject. Tis tendency is also observed
in the data analyzed in this study as exemplifed in Excerpts (2), (3), and (4). Kim
further notes that his data include many cases of WH-clefs containing a full clause
in the focus position that have no THAT (and sometime not even a BE copula).
According to Kim, in such cases, the initial WH clause is ofen followed by back-
ground information rather than the focused utterance. Te following excerpt in-
troduced by Kim exemplifes such a case:
(5) Kim (1995: 273)
143 D: Y- yeah well its in these big
144 (1.0)
145 D: [va:ses, [you know. [Huge.
146 W: [Vats
147 H: [Yeah. [Yeah.
148 D: But what I didnt realize at the time was I had always
149 been thinking well a:ll anything alcoholic has been (.)
150 distilled and is oka:y.
151 (0.2)
152 D: But this isnt.
153 (0.3)
154 D: Its just made from (.) [I mean tey jus-
155 J: [Oh yea:h,
156 D: Its just ferme:nted. Its not disti::lled.
In this case, the focused utterance of the WH-clef initiated in line 148 is found in
line 152 (this isnt). What follows right afer the WH clause (I had always been...
and is oka:y) provides background information that serves as a preliminary to the
Te re-examination of so-called clefs :
main point that is projected to be forthcoming in the subsequent talk (p. 273).
Hopper (2004) also demonstrates that WH-clefs, or the bi-clausal construction with
a wh-part and a focus part consisting of a noun phrase, are seldom fully exemplifed
in spontaneous talk and that what follows the WH- part is a stretch of discourse of
indeterminate length, including a noun phrase as one of many possibilities. Tese
observations appear, to a certain extent, to be comparable to what is found in the
Japanese data examined here. Tat is, the majority of units initiated with the -no wa
clause contain no nominalizer or copula marking the end of the comment compo-
nent, and in some cases, multiple units of talk are produced between the -no wa
clause and what appears to be its corresponding comment component.
Te close observation of conversational data has led Kim as well as Hopper to
propose an alternative view of the so-called WH-clef to the conventional view of
grammar, which was primarily based on written discourse and invented examples.
Kim (1995) states that various functions of WH-clefs may be better understood
in terms of the speakers adding the initial WH-clause before the presentation of a
major point in the focused utterance rather than in terms of a syntactic operation
in which an item is picked up and extraposed to be given focus (p. 252). Similarly,
Hopper (2004) suggests that the WH-clause in these cases should be regarded as
an emergent discourse particle. He further states that the primary roles of the
WH-clef are to defer an upcoming segment of discourse and to provide a cogni-
tive space for the speaker to plan the next part of the utterance, or a social space to
stave of interruption.
Te current study pursues this alternative understanding of the workings of
so-called clefs proposed by Kim and Hopper, by examining the seemingly compa-
rable construction in Japanese initiated by the -no wa clause. Te description of
the WH-clefs functions ofered by Hopper, especially its social dimension, I be-
lieve, can be further enriched by incorporating CA perspectives and the fndings
regarding multiunit turns. Tis study thus aims to illustrate the interactive pro-
cesses that the speakers and the recipients engage in for the achievement of ex-
tended talk, shedding light on how the target construction afects the recipients
conduct as well. More specifcally, the analysis uncovers how the recipients antici-
pate a forthcoming completion of the turn, or in other words, an occasion when
their full-fedged response to the current speakers talk becomes relevant.
3. Single unit turns versus multiunit turns
Tis section ofers a brief overview of CAs account for the organization for turn-
taking, which provides a critical analytical framework for the current study. Of
particular importance to the current study is the concept of a multiunit turn, which
ioo Junko Mori
is considered something to be achieved in ordinary conversation, where the com-
pletion of every turn-constructional unit (TCU) can be susceptible to a transfer of
As described by Sacks, et. al. (1974) and further discussed in subse-
quent studies including Scheglof (1996), Ford and Tompson (1996), Ford, Fox,
and Tompson (1996), Selting (2000), and Ford (2004), among others, the TCU is
not a kind of unit that is defned a priori by researchers, but something that is real-
ized by the conversational participants in talk-in-interaction with reference to
multiple resources, including syntax, prosody, sequential organization, and bodily
conduct. Recent studies of Japanese conversations by Mori (1999), Tanaka (1999,
2000), Hayashi (2003a), Iwasaki (2008, 2009), and Nakamura (2009), among oth-
ers, also attest that the basic rules described by Sacks, et al. (1974) apply to Japanese,
while its word order and other grammatical features may change the temporal
development of a TCU and the recipients ability to project its possible completion.
To crudely summarize, the participants in Japanese conversations are found to
demonstrate their orientation towards the end of a predicate, following intonation,
and some type of action completion, and most notably the combination of all of
the above, in recognizing a possible completion of a TCU.
While Sacks, et al. (1974) describe such fundamental mechanisms for turn-
taking in which each party is essentially allotted one TCU at a time, they also ac-
knowledge that there are occasions when one party accomplishes talk longer than
4. Sacks, Scheglof, and Jeferson (1974) describe a basic set of rules for turn-taking operation
as follows:
(i) For any turn, at the initial transition-relevance place of an initial turn-constructional
(a) If the turn-so-far is so constructed as to involve the use of a current speaker selects
next technique, then the party so selected has the right and is obliged to take next turn
to speak; no others have such rights or obligations, and transfer occurs at that place.
(b) If the turn-so-far is so constructed as not to involve the use of a current speaker selects
next technique, then self-selection for next speakership may, but need not, be insti-
tuted; frst starter acquires rights to a turn, and transfer occurs at that place.
(c) If the turn-so-far is so constructed as not to involve the use of a current speaker selects
next technique, then current speaker may, but need not continue, unless another self-
(ii) If, at the initial transition-relevance place of an initial turn-constructional unit, neither
(i)a nor (i)b has operated, and, following the provision of (i)c, current speaker has
continued, then the rule-set a-c is re-applied at the next transition-relevance place and
recursively at each next transition-relevance place, until transfer is efected. (p. 704)
Tese rules are not prescriptive rules that constrain conversational participants behaviors, but
rather intersubjective norms towards which the conversational participants are found to demon-
strate their orientation. Tus, they do not, for instance, exclude the possible occurrences of over-
lapping talk or silence between turns, but rather they ofer explanations for how such overlaps or
silence may occur and how they can be interpreted or treated by the participants themselves.
Te re-examination of so-called clefs io:
one TCU, or what is called a multiunit turn. Multiunit turns are diferent from
cases in which no one self-selects at the end of a TCU and thus the current speak-
er ends up continuing his or her talk. Rather, the establishment of a multiunit turn
involves the speakers pre-announcing, in some fashion, that his or her upcoming
talk will require more than one TCU, and securing co-participants continued re-
cipiency of the projected talk.
One of the typical devices for accomplishing multiunit turns described in CA
studies is what is called story preface (e.g., Sacks 1974, 1992; Jeferson 1978).
Namely, when one is about to tell a story in conversational interaction, the person
ofen starts with a story preface such as I heard the most wonderful thing yester-
day, or Something awful happened to me today, which serves to preannounce the
fact that he or she is going to tell the co-participants what the wonderful thing or
something awful was and that this telling can take up more than a single TCU.
Te story preface gives the co-participants a chance to align themselves as the
story recipients and helps them understand the nature of the telling (i.e., a won-
derful or awful story) and process the subsequent talk accordingly; they wait for
the moment when the story reaches the ending that describes why it was wonder-
ful or awful and provide an appropriate response.
Another device that enables a participant to deliver a multiunit turn is what
Scheglof (1980) calls a preliminary to preliminaries, or pre-pre in short. A typi-
cal pre-pre, for instance, is a question such as Can I ask you a question? What
happens following this question and the recipients compliance, however, is not
always the intended question that the person has just received permission to ask.
Instead, some preliminaries such as an explanation of the relevance of the question
or information necessary to establish the content of the question can occur before
the question as shown in (6):
(6) [#12 BC, Beige, 1819] (Scheglof 1980: 105)
11 B: I like tuh ask you something ((pre-pre))
12 A: Shoot.
13 B: Yknow Iad my license suspended ((preliminaries))
14 fuh six munts,
15 A: Uh huh
16 B: Yknow for a reason which,
17 I rathuh not, mention tuh you, in
18 othuh words, -- a serious reason,
19 en I like tuh know if I wd ((question))
20 talk tuh my senator, or
21 somebuddy, could they help me
22 get it back,
ioi Junko Mori
In such a case, the co-participants who complied to be a responder to the question
process the preliminaries delivered in a multiunit turn, assuming that these are
relevant to the projected, forthcoming question.
In addition to these characterizations of entire turns that can project forth-
coming multiunit turns, features that accompany these turns have been discussed
by Scheglof (1980, 1996) who notes dummy terms such as that or something used
in these turns, and by Goodwin (1996) who names such items as problem or ter-
rible or wonderful that characterize the upcoming telling as prospective indexi-
cals. Goodwin (1996: 384) describes how such a prospective indexical enables the
recipients to engage in the analysis of a current speakers talk, which is a dynamic
process that extends through time as subsequent talk and the interpretative frame-
work provided by the prospective indexical mutually elaborate each other.
Te fndings of these CA studies that describe devices and mechanisms ob-
served in the establishment of multiunit turns help us consider one way in which
the -no wa clause is used in Japanese talk-in-interaction. Namely, it appears that
the -no wa clause can serve as a prospective indexical forecasting an upcoming
multiunit turn.
As noted in the previous section, there are remarkable similarities between
what Kim and Hopper report regarding WH-clefs in English conversations and
what the current study has found regarding the Japanese so-called clefs initiated
with the -no wa topic clause. However, there are also crucial diferences, in par-
ticular, concerning to what extent such marked word orders change the temporal
realization of talk-in-progress. Namely, while the English WH-clef does not dras-
tically change the placement of a verb from its non-clef counterpart as illustrated
in (7a) and (7b), the clef version and the non-clef version of comparable Japanese
utterances difer signifcantly in their placement of the verb or nominal adjective
as shown in (8a) and (8b).
(7) a. What I thought is [ ]
b. I thought that [ ]
(8) a. watashi ga omotta no wa [ ]
I S thought nml top
(8) b. [ ] to omotta.
QT thought
Tis diference brings about signifcant consequences in the temporal develop-
ment of talk, which is experienced by the participants of conversation. Tat is, the
canonical word order in Japanese positions verbs or nominal adjectives indicating
the speakers internal state, which ofen occur in such a construction used in talk-
in-interaction, at the very end of the utterance, or afer revealing the contents of
Te re-examination of so-called clefs io
the speakers thoughts or feelings (see Lerner and Takagi (1999), Tanaka (1999,
2000) and Nakamura (2009)) regarding some consequences of this word order
upon the turn-taking operations in Japanese). On the other hand, by utilizing the
-no wa topic clause, the speaker can preannounce the nature of the following talk,
and as a result, the recipients can process the following talk accordingly. And yet,
the frequent reproduction of the same, or a very similar, verb or nominal adjective
used in the topic complement at the completion of projected talk (as exemplifed
in (2) and (3)) may also indicate Japanese speakers orientation towards the ca-
nonical, predicate-fnal word order in regard to the negotiation of turn-taking and
Te following analysis section will introduce two excerpts from multi-party
interactions where the target grammatical practice occurs. Te purpose of this
analytical section is not necessarily to provide generalizable claims that apply to all
the cases in which the target construction is observed, but to emphasize the im-
portance of documenting how such a construction is used as a grammatical prac-
tice in response to a specifc interactional need in a particular sequential context,
and how it is treated by the participants themselves. While it is not my intention to
disregard the necessity of investigating the aggregate functions of this construc-
tion, I believe that close analysis of both the speakers and the recipients conduct
in the unfolding talk will illustrate what grammar may mean to the language us-
ers themselves.
4. Analysis of so-called clefs in multiparty talk-in-interaction
Tis section introduces two excerpts from multi-party interactions to demonstrate
how the fndings of CA studies discussed in the previous section can be applied to
the study of the target grammatical practice. Te frst excerpt involves a case in
which a unit of talk initiated with the -no wa clause appears to come to a possible
completion when the speaker produces a predicate that essentially reiterates the
one included in the topic clause. Te second excerpt, on the other hand, involves a
case in which a unit of talk initiated with the -no wa clause does not include any
explicit linguistic marking of possible completion. Te analysis of these cases ad-
dresses not only how the target grammatical practice afects the organization of
participation, but also how multimodal practices, including gaze shifs, body
movements, gestures, etc., may infuence the ways in which the participants de-
velop and process the talk-in-interaction and actions-in-progress. Tese other
practices may enhance the projection activated by grammar in some cases, or they
may serve to cancel it out in other cases.
io| Junko Mori
4.1 A case of a multiunit turn that ends with a predicate corresponding
to the topic clause
Te frst case shown in (9) is extracted from a multiparty interaction among Mari,
Taka, and Eri, who had just returned to Japan afer studying abroad in the U.S. for
one year at the time of the data collection. By using the -no wa topic clause, Eri
characterizes the upcoming talk as a description of something that surprised her
at the beginning of her stay in the US. Following the topic clause, Eri frst refers to
the fact that libraries in the US are open until late at night, ending this utterance
with the tag-like expression jana::i, which, taken out of the context, could be
viewed as marking a possible completion of the current turn and yielding the next
turn to another speaker. However, the other participants do not start taking a full
turn at that moment. Indeed, Eri quickly takes a short in-breath and continues her
talk with the connective nanka (like). Tis next unit initiated with dakara ends
with the predicate, sugoina naa::toka omotta: (thought impressive), which reiter-
ates the content of the -no wa topic clause, sugoi bikkurishita (really surprised), or
at least expresses the same sort of assessment. Maris full-fedged response to Eris
talk starts only afer Eri produces this reiterated assessment and the subsequent
token u::n yielding speakership (cf. Iwasaki, 1997). Afer the presentation of the
transcript of this segment, we will consider what kinds of resources contribute to
Eri and her co-participants accomplishment of this multiunit turn.
(9) JA10915
15 Eri: [.hhhhhhhhh=
16 =soo i- suggoi saisho:: suggoi bikkurishita no wa:::, .hhh
so real frst real surprised nml top
17 nan daro, yonaka no juuniji toka niji toka
what cop midnight lk 12-oclock or 2-oclock like
18 toshokan oo- (0.3) oopu[nshiteru jana::i. .hhh=
library open tag
Right i- what really surprised me frst is:::, .hhh what can I say,
like until 12 oclock midnight or 2 oclock, libraries are o- (0.3)
open, right?
19 Mari: [u::::n
uh huh.
20 Eri: =nanka sore made minna sa::: ttoka itte isshookenmei
like that until all mim like say hard
Te re-examination of so-called clefs io,
21 benkyooshiteru tte yuu no wa sugoi
studying qt say nml top impressive
naa::to[ka omotta:.=
fp like thought
Like everyone is studying really hard until then, and I thought
that was really impressive.
22 Mari: [u::n.
uh huh.
23 Eri: =u::n.
uh huh.
24 Mari: shisetsu ga totonotteru yo ne[:. jujitsushiteru yo ne[:
facility S established fp fp substantial fp fp
Teir facilities are really nice, arent they? Very substantial.
25 Eri: [u::n [u::n.
uh-huh uh-huh
uh huh. uh huh.
26 u::n.
uh huh.
Te accomplishment of this multiunit turn involves several factors including 1)
grammar as a resource for designing and processing the turn, 2) co-occurring
non-verbal behaviors which provide another frame of reference for processing the
on-going development of talk, and 3) the sequential context in which this particu-
lar multiunit turn occurred. In the following discussion, we will examine the ex-
cerpt above, considering these three factors.
First, as mentioned earlier, the -no wa topic clause appears to serve as a pro-
spective indexical that provides the recipients with an interpretive framework,
with which to process the on-going development of talk. Namely, the recipients in
this case process Eris talk by considering what could have made her so surprised
in the U.S., and the completion of the talk that uncovers the description of some-
thing worthy of surprise becomes the moment when their response to this telling
becomes relevant. By processing this on-going development of talk in a linear
fashion, one may consider it to be possible that Eri was surprised to know how late
American libraries are open. In fact, Mari produces a minimal token at the moment
when this information becomes available, namely when the talk reaches the half-
way point in the vocalization of the verb oopunshiteru (open) and the remaining
ioo Junko Mori
component becomes rather predictable. However, the clause-fnal expression for
this unit does not necessarily correspond to how this talk was initiated. Tat is,
although the tag-like expression jana::i (line 18) might be considered the end of a
turn in other contexts, it is not a suitable ending for the unit initiated with the -no
wa clause. By this I do not mean that the recipients considered that such a unit
should end with a nominalizer as described in prescriptive grammar. Rather, the
frequent pattern of a predicate identical or similar to the one in the topic clause,
which occurs at a possible completion of the unit (as exemplifed in (2) and (3)),
seems to establish such an expectation against which the recipients process the
on-going talk. Te next unit indeed ends with a predicate that resonates with the
characterization provided in the -no wa topic clause. It seems that what surprised
Eri, or what she found impressive, is the fact that students were studying so hard
until late at night. Eris addition of the token u::n (line 23) further confrms that
she is ready to realign herself as a recipient of the next speakers talk (cf. Hayashi &
Yoon, 2009).
Te construction of this multiunit turn is also supported by Eris non-verbal
behaviors including gaze shifs, body movements, and mimes. First, in overlap
with the end of the prior turn by Taka, Eri produces a rather lengthy in-breath in
line 15, indicating that she is ready to take the next turn (cf. Jeferson 1984; Linton
& Lerner 2004). At the same time Eri looks away from the current speaker, Taka,
and looks up in the air and then down at the table. Such a gaze direction that is not
directed to either one of the co-participants, along with the self-addressed ques-
tion nan daro (what can I say) (line 17), indicates that Eri is engaging in some
kind of solitary word search (cf. Goodwin & Goodwin 1986; Hayashi 2003b); in
this case, she appears to be trying to search for a way to construct her upcoming
talk on what really surprised her. Around the time when she produces the nominal
linking particle no in line 17, Eri fnally starts directing her gaze towards Mari.
Ten, as Mari produces the reactive token u:::n (line 19) immediately afer Eris
production of the initial component of the predicate oopun (open), Eri shifs her
gaze back to the mid air between Mari and Taka while uttering the tag-like expres-
sion jana::i (line 18). By directing her gaze at Mari when referring to the librarys
closing hours, Eri seems to make sure that the information is heard by Mari. On
the other hand, by not gazing at any recipient when producing the tag question, Eri
seems to indicate that the tag question should not be considered the end of the turn
yielding speakership. During the production of the next unit starting with nanka
(like), Eri leans forward and mimes the ways in which these students are studying
hard while producing the mimetic expression sa::: ttoka itte. Eri then brings her
gaze up and looks towards Mari during the entire talk in line 21, selecting Mari to
be the next speaker. As such, Eris gaze shifs and body orientations appear to en-
hance the initiation, continuation, and termination of this multiunit turn.
Te re-examination of so-called clefs io
Finally, it is also important to consider in what kind of interactional context Eri
launches this multiunit turn and what kinds of actions she achieves by delivering
this turn in this particular format. Excerpt (10) shows the segment preceding Eris
initiation of her multiunit turn. Tis segment starts afer a short silence that emerged
at a possible completion of the prior sequence, in which they were talking about the
American students grade consciousness. As evident from the transcript, it is actu-
ally Mari who initiates the topic of the students studious attitude by asking the oth-
ers, who attended diferent American universities during their study-abroad experi-
ence, whether or not they also noticed students studying diligently in the cafeteria.
Eri responds to this question by providing a description that directly contrasts
with the one ofered by Mari, i.e., that there were people chatting in the cafeteria
rather than studying (lines 4 and 6), although she utters this partial disagreement
with the use of the connective particle -kedo (line 4) (cf. Mori 1999) and laughter
to downgrade its potentially negative force. Taka, on the other hand, shifs the
topical focus from a cafeteria to a library while maintaining the theme of Maris
utterance (line 5), but he ceases this turn during the overlapping talk produced by
Eri. Tus, we see that it is in fact Taka who brought up the topic of a library in this
conversation. Reviewing the prior sequence, it becomes clear that Eris multiunit
turn incorporated these previous contributions made by the other participants.
(10) JA10915
1 Mari: soo:ne, (0.3) kafeteria de s- gakusee- (0.3) minna
soo fp cafeteria in students all
2 benkyoo [shitenakatta?
Right. (0.3) In a cafeteria, students (0.3) were all studying,
werent they?
3 Taka: [hh hh hh
4 Eri: ts .hhhh u::n [>nanka< shabetteru hito mo ita
uh-huh well chatting people also existed
kedo ne,=
but fp
ts .hhh uh hu:h well there were some chatting, though.
5 Taka: [toshokan
6 Eri: =suggoi ikioi de(h). [hehehehehehe .hhhhh
impressive speed cop
at an impressive speed. hehehehehehe .hhhh
io8 Junko Mori
7 Mari: [iru ne, iru ne.=
exist fp exist fp
Tere are, there are.
8 Mari: =[un u:n
an uh huh
9 Eri: [u::::n
uh huh
10 Mari: [demo::
11 Taka: [toshokan toka mo hon[toni::
library like also really
like the library, too, rea::ly
12 Eri: [TOSHOkan wa- (0.3) soo soo
library top so so
As for the library- (0.3) right right
13 Taka: =hito wa benkyooshiteiru, hh. nihon de wa ne- (0.5)
people top studying Japan in top
14 toshokan de wa gakusee wa neteiru n [da
library in top students top sleeping nml cop
kedomo .hhh
People are studying (0.6) whereas in Japan sl- (0.5) in the
library, students are sleeping.
In line 11, Taka re-initiates his prior utterance that was terminated in overlap.
Tis time, Taka continues his talk despite the fact that Eri initiates a turn reacting
to the introduction of the term toshokan (library) in overlap with his talk
(line 12). Takas utterance that refers to his observation of American library scenes
in fact supports Maris original utterance that describes the studious attitude of
American students; while students are ofen sleeping in the library in Japan, peo-
ple are studying in the library in the US. It is in this context that Eri deploys the
target construction.
Te re-examination of so-called clefs io
Triggered by Takas reference to American students studying in a library, Eri
introduces a circumstantial factor that infuences the diference in students study
habits between the US and Japan. But this is done not as a single turn conveying
the new piece of information, but as a unit of talk embedded within the multiunit
turn, which indexes her contribution as being in agreement with the others.
Namely, by carefully crafing this multiunit turn, Eri makes her contribution not
as an abrupt topic shif emphasizing the availability of facility, but as a continuous
contribution to both of the co-participants descriptions of studious behaviors of
American students.
In this section, we examined a case in which the multiunit turn ends with a
predicate that corresponds to the content of a pre-announcement efected by the
-no wa topic clause. Te examination of the next case, in which the producer of the
-no wa clause does not produce any explicit linguistic marking that corresponds to
the initial component of multiunit talk demonstrates how such a marking may af-
fect the development a multiunit turn.
4.2 A case of a multiunit turn that does not end with a clear linguistic marking
Excerpt (11) demonstrates another case in which the -no wa topic clause is used to
initiate a multiunit turn. Te participants in this interaction, three college stu-
dents, are also talking about their previous years study-abroad experiences. Chika
studied in China, whereas Emi and Kana studied in the U.S.
(11) JA20615
1 Chika: maa kuni no jijoo [mo aru kedo ne::.
well country lk circumstance also exist but fp
Well it also depends on the situation of each country, though.
2 Emi: [.hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh=
3 =[are da yo ne tabun sa:::, kankyoo da yo ne:::,
that cop fp fp maybe fp environment cop fp fp
You know, maybe it is the environment.
4 Kana: [hee::::
5 Emi: watashi amerika de omotta no wa sa:::, (0.4)
I America in thought nml top fp
6 kyanpasu ni sunderu jan min[na ga::, .hh
campus in living tag everyone S
What I thought in America wa:::s, (0,4) everyones living on
campus, right? .hh
i:o Junko Mori
7 Kana: [uu:::[::n
uh hu::::n
8 Chika: [u::n
uh huh.
9 Emi: de ryoo ni sa::: minna isshoni sundete:::, .hhh
and dorm in fp everyone together living
10 koo:: benkyoosu- gakkoo ni sunderu wake da kara sa::,
like study school in living nml cop because fp
11 maa gakkoo o shu toshite benkyoo no ba ni
well school O main as study lk place in
12 [sunderu wake da kara:,=
living nml cop because
And in dorms everyone is living together, and .hhh like
study- because people are living in school, well in a place of
study having a school as the center, and so.
13 Chika: [un un un un
uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh
uh huh uh huh uh huh uh huh
14 Kana: =u::[:n
uh huh
15 Emi: [koo- .hh (0.2) yappa- (0.3) >nan te no< jibun no
like expectedly what qt fp self lk
16 seekatsu no chuushin ga gakkoo chuushin?=
life lk center S school center
like- .hh (0.2) you know (0.2) what can I say the center of
your own life is school?
17 Chika: =un un un.=
uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh
uh huh uh huh uh huh
18 Emi: =benkyoo chuushin ni mawatteru:.
study center in revolving
your life is revolving around study
19 Kana: sore wa [aru yo ne[::.
that top exist fp fp
Tats true, isnt it.
Te re-examination of so-called clefs i::
20 Chika: [haa:::::::
Te segment shown in (11) starts at the time when Chika makes a concluding re-
mark on her prior telling concerning the relationship between Chinas one-child
policy and the tendency for parents to direct a signifcant amount of attention to
their only child and to urge the child to study diligently. For the transition from
Chikas talk about China to her own about the US, Emi reiterates the basic idea in-
troduced by Chika that it is up to each countrys circumstances whether or not
students in that country study diligently. In doing so, she changes the term jijoo
(circumstance) used by Chika (line 1) to kankyoo (environment) (line 3), but both
utterances basically propose that it is the various surrounding factors that afect
students motivations and behaviors. Right afer this transitional statement, which
also seems to forecast that she is going to talk about something concerning the im-
pact of kankyoo (environment), Emi utters the -no wa topic clause to characterize
her forthcoming talk as being concerned with her impressions of the U.S. (line 5).
First, it is noticeable that Emi in (11) produces a clause marked by the tag-like
expression jan right afer the -no wa topic clause (line 6), in a way very similar to
what we observed in Eris multiunit turn in (9), although Emi in this case adds the
post-predicate element minna ga:: (everyone) with no break in intonation and no
beat of silence (cf. Couper-Kuhlen and Ono, 2007; Ono and Suzuki, 1992). As in
the previous case, the recipients only produce minimal tokens at this point and do
not take a full-fedged turn, and thereby indicate their understanding that more
talk by Emi is on the way. In the meantime, Emi, afer taking a short in-breath,
continues her talk, elaborating on the typical living arrangements for American
university students. Tis next unit of talk does not reach a possible completion for
some time, either in terms of its syntax or content. Namely the -te form (line 9)
and the connective particle kara (because) (lines 10 and 12) project more talk to
follow. Further, Emis talk up to line 12 describes the living arrangements that she
observed, which does not correspond to the pre-announced nature of talk, namely
what she thought about. Te recipients indeed indicate their understanding of
such a continuous development by just providing the token u:n and its variants
rather than full turns.
Te earliest moment when the projected multiunit turn can be considered to
have reached a possible completion is at the end of line 16, when Emi produces what
can be considered the main clause following the -kara clause, jibun no seekatsu no
chuushin ga gakkoo chuushin? (the center of your life is school). Tis clause can also
be considered as introducing the content of what she thought when she was in the
U.S. However, the end of this unit is not marked by a nominalizer or the re-occurrence
i:i Junko Mori
of a predicate identical or similar to the one in the topic clause. As such, the recipi-
ents, Chika and Kana, only produce the token un and/or head nods.
Further, Emis non-verbal behaviors also insinuate that this is not a comple-
tion of the on-going action. During the production of her talk in lines 15, 16, and
18, Emi makes notable gestures as illustrated in the following transcripts and in
Figures 1 to 3. Starting immediately before the onset of the utterance in line 15,
Emi raises her right arm and holds it up, keeping her right hand raised at about the
height of her head (Figure 1). Tis serves as a preparatory stage for the forthcom-
ing circling gestures that appear to correspond to the idea expressed in her talk
that students lives revolve around school and study (cf. Streeck 1988, 1993; McNeil
1992, Goodwin 2000a, 2000b). By the time Emis talk reaches the end of line 16,
she has produced the circling gesture (Figure 2) twice, but her hand comes back to
the position indicated in Figure 1, which appears to indicate that this series of
gestures and accompanying talk, and most importantly, the action accomplished
by these multimodal means, is not yet complete.
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3
(12) JA20615
Keeping the right hand Circling the right
at the height of her eyes hand and arm
(Figure 1) 1st time

15 Emi: [koo- .hh (0.2) yappa- (0.2) >nan te no< jibun no
like expectedly what qt fp self lk
Te re-examination of so-called clefs i:
Circling the
right hand and arm
2nd time (Figure 2)

16 seekatsu no chuushin ga gakkoo chuushin?=
life lk center S school center
like- .hh (0.2) you know (0.2) what can I say the center of
your own life is school?
17 Chika: =un un un.=
uh-huh uh-huh uh-huh
uh huh uh huh uh huh
Circling the right Bringing the hand
hand and arm back to the home
3nd time position (Figure 3)

18 Emi: =benkyoo chuushin ni mawatteru.
study center in revolving
your life is revolving around study
In fact, Emi reiterates her point in line 18, this time by completing the unit with the
verb mawatteru (revolving) and the falling contour. In addition, her circling gesture,
which is produced for the third time during the frst half of the utterance in line 18, also
comes to a completion when she brings her hand back to the home position shown in
Figure 3 (Sacks & Scheglof 2002) in the second half of the utterance in line 18.
Kana indeed treats this point as a place where it is relevant to produce more
than just a minimal token. Her turn in line 19, sore wa aru yo ne:: (Tats true, isnt
it) treats Emis preceding talk to be not merely a description but an expression of
her interpretation of the situation. However, this response ofered by Kana is still
relatively short and is produced while Kana looks down at the table or at her hands
on her knees rather than at Emi, who has just expressed her viewpoint and to
whom Kana seems to be expressing this agreement. Emi, who shifs her gaze from
Chika to Kana at the end of the utterance in line 18, observes this, and continues
to extend her multiunit turn by providing more detailed description of what she
observed in the U.S., which made her think that American students lives revolves
around the school (line 21) as shown below.
(13) JA20615
21 Emi: [( nanka) sa: .hh kekkyoku kae- heya ni kae
like fp afer-all room to retrun
22 ttemo: ruumumeeto hon yondetari sa:, n- nanka
even-if roommate book reading:or fp like
i:| Junko Mori
23 benkyooshiteru jan. .hh jugyoo no aida ni:: sa
studying tag classes lk between in fp
24 heya ni chotto sa:: (0.7) kaeru toki mo::, maa .hhh
room to a-little fp return time also well
25 ruumumeeto ga itari inakattari da kedo:::,
roommate S exist:or exist:neg:or cop but
26 de toshokan ni mo::,
and library in also
like .hh afer all re- even when you return to your room, your
roommate may be reading, or like studying, you know? .hh
when you go back to your room between classes for a short
time, too, well you may or may not fnd your roommate, but,
in libraries, too,
((18 lines of Emis extended talk and Kanas insertion of short turns
that collaboratively tell their observation of campus life in the U.S.
and Chikas reactive tokens and repair initiators are omitted.))
45 Emi: de::: sooyuu no de:: koo (0.4) u::n (0.6) toshokan
and such one in like uh-huh library
46 itte: tte [katachi::: (.) de benkyooshita kara=
go qt style in studied because
and in such a way like (0.4) uh huh (0.6) we went to libraries,
and in that fashion we studied, and so
47 Kana: [u:::n
uh huh
48 Emi: =yonaka toka made. .hh mo nanka (0.8) su- (0.8)
midnight like until really like
49 tomodachi ga::, ruumumeeto ga tomodachi, = tomodachi ga::
friend S roommate S friend friend S
50 ma yoowa benkyoo nakama mitaina kanji
well in-short study companion like feeling
na no ne.
cop nml fp
51 [.hhh dakara:.
Te re-examination of so-called clefs i:,
until like midnight. .hh really like (0.8) s- (0.8) your friend,
your roommate is your friend, = your friend, well in short, is
your study companion, something like that. .hhh so::
52 Kana: [u:::::n
uh huh
53 (1.0)
54 Emi: u:::n sore ga chigatta yo ne::.=
uh-huh that S difered fp fp
55 =nanka hitori janai kara::
like alone cop:top:neg because
56 benkyoo[shiteru (no ga).
studying nml S
uh huh that was very diferent. Cause like you are not alone,
when studying.
57 Chika: [aa::::: nakama ga iru kanji?=
oh companion S exist feeling
oh:::: you feel like you have companions?
58 Kana: =u::n ato ke- u:n kekkoo:: nanka- (0.4) ko-
uh-huh also uh-huh rather like
daigaku de
university at
59 kore o yaritai tte yuu node:::, kiteru ko ga >sugoi<
this O do:want qt say because coming child S really
60 ooi ki ga shita...
many feeling S had
uh huh also ke- uh huh rather like (0.4) thi- I felt that there
are really a lot of them who come to the university because
they want to do this.
During Emis turn lasting from line 5 in Excerpt (11) until line 51 in Excerpt (13),
Kana and Chikas participations are limited to continuers, Kanas short turns that
contribute to the description of campus life in the U.S. and Chikas reactive tokens
and repair initiators. Indeed, Emis expansion of her telling includes more of a
description of what she observed, or the environment in which American students
are situated, rather than the expression of her thought, which she pre-announced
to do in the -no wa topic clause.
i:o Junko Mori
It is noticeable that there is one second of silence in line 53, when Emi ceases
to continue her extended talk, but the other participants do not initiate their re-
sponses to her telling either. Afer this silence, Emi delivers the upshot of her
lengthy description, i.e., that the environment in the U.S. which makes these
students think that they are not studying alone is what is diferent from the envi-
ronment surrounding college students in Japan. Tis upshot can be considered the
content of what she thought concerning college students in the U.S., which was
projected by the -no wa topic clause and the transitional remark from Chikas prior
telling to her own telling of the U.S. that Emi made in line 3 in (11). Finally, afer
this conclusive remark, which corresponds to the ways in which this extended talk
was initiated, Kana launches her frst full-fedged turn and shifs the topic.
While the two focal cases examined in this section share certain features, in-
cluding that the -no wa topic clause is used to initiate and project a forthcoming
extended talk and that units of talk such as those marked by the tag-like expres-
sion janai or jan can be embedded in the projected turn space, they also exhibit
diferences. Most notably, the completion of Emis multiunit turn in (11) exhibits
more ambiguity than that of Eris talk in (9). Tis ambiguity seems to have been
caused in part by the fact that Emi does not produce a predicate that reiterates
what was pre-announced in the -no wa topic clause and thereby explicitly marks
the end of this multiunit turn. Another possibility that seems worth pursuing by
collecting more cases is the relationship between the nature of the verbs used in
the -no wa clause and their indexicality. Tat is, compared to the verb omotta
(thought) used in this case, bikkurishita (surprized) used in the previous case or
other types of emotive expressions appear to be more semantically loaded and
therefore are able to ofer clearer clues for the recipients to determine when the
climax of a telling is delivered.
6. Conclusion
Tis chapter examined how one type of so-called clef construction is used in talk-
in-interaction. First, it demonstrated how rare it is for the speakers in talk-in-in-
teraction to end the unit initiated with the -no wa topic clause with a clause marked
by a nominalizer. Instead, the speakers ofen mark the end of the unit initiated
with the -no wa topic clause by reiterating the same or a similar predicate used in
the topic clause. Further, the chapter investigated how such a construction may
infuence the ways in which the conversational participants organize their interac-
tion. Tat is, the -no wa topic clause appears to serve as a prospective indexical
that pre-announces the nature of the forthcoming extended talk and provides
the recipients an interpretive framework. As a result, the speakers may produce
Te re-examination of so-called clefs i:
utterances marked by the tag-like expression jan(ai), which ofer preliminary
background information necessary for delivering what is pre-announced by the
topic clause. Te recipients, then, perceive this tag-like expression which occurs
within a projected multiunit turn to be a place where their production of minimal
tokens is relevant rather than full-fedged responses. Finally, the chapter demon-
strated how important it is, when studying grammar-in-interaction, to pay atten-
tion to the concurring non-verbal behaviors that provide another frame of refer-
ence for designing and processing ones turn.
What is described in this study supports at least one of the arguments made by
scholars who have established a research tradition that investigates the mutual
relationship between interaction and grammar (e.g., Ochs et al. 1996; Selting &
Couper-Kuhlen 2001; Ford et al. 2002). Namely, the data presented here clearly
demonstrate how grammar serves as a resource for organizing talk-in-interaction.
While the current study may not be able to present sufcient hard evidence for the
other argument, i.e., grammar is a consequence of the necessities of social interac-
tion, or the emergent grammar perspective (cf. Hopper 1988), it can at least sup-
port the idea put forth by Iwasaki and Ono (2002: 176), who argue that it is pos-
sible that the spoken and written modes of language, while sharing a common
core, may also difer in certain aspects of their grammars, citing Kokuritsu Kokugo
Kenkyuujo (1963) and Miller (1995). How can we, then, account for the diference
between grammars for spoken and written modes of a language, as well as their
common core? With regard to the target construction examined in this chapter,
there must be a certain shared sense of expected trajectory of talk for the conver-
sational participants to project and anticipate further development of talk. But at
the same time, this intersubjective understanding might be quite diferent than, or
at least not identical to, what is described as the prescriptive well-formedness of
linguistic structures, which has been developed based on written data and intro-
spection. Hopper (2004) indeed comments on the relationship between the two
modes of grammars as it follows:
Most studies of the pseudoclef in spoken discourse have tacitly assumed that the
spoken version is a reduced or degenerate form of the fuller construction found in
writing and other planned discourse... I suggest that the reverse is the case: that pre-
fabricated fragments of discourse are acquired for their usefulness in managing ef-
fective discourse, and that planned and written modes have normativized these bits
and pieces into longer and more rule-governed syntactic constructions. (p. 173)
I hope the current chapter has succeeded in exhibiting how the speakers tend to treat
the -no wa clause as a prefabricated fragment that projects an imminent multiunit
talk, while a planned and written mode of Japanese discourse, as well as the prescrip-
tive grammar primarily based on such data, tend to introduce the complete structure
i:8 Junko Mori
of clef constructions as a norm. CAs rigorous attention to social actions accom-
plished through talk-in-interaction should continue to aid the exploration of gram-
mar as emergent practices that are acquired, employed, and modifed by its users.
I would like to thank Kasumi Kato and students in my Japanese language courses
for calling my attention to this phenomenon. Research for this article was funded
in part by a grant from the United States Department of Education (CFDA 84.229,
P229A020010-03). However, the content does not necessarily represent the policy
of the Department of Education, and one should not assume endorsement by the
Federal Government.
Appendix: Transcription conventions and abbreviations
Transcript symbols
[ Te point where overlapping talk and/or gesture starts
(0.0) length of silence in tenths of a second
(.) micro-pause less than 2/10 of a second
underlining relatively high pitch
CAPS relatively high volume
:: lengthened syllable
- cut-of; self-interruption
= latched utterances
?/./, rising/falling/continuing intonation respectively
! animated tone, not necessarily an exclamation
( ) unintelligible stretch
(word) transcribers unsure hearings
(( )) transcribers descriptions of events, including nonvocal conduct
hh audible outbreath
.hh audible inbreath
(hh) laughter within a word
> < increase in tempo, as in a rush-through
a passage of talk quieter than the surrounding talk
Te re-examination of so-called clefs i:
Abbreviations used in the interlinear gloss
CAU causative sufx O object particle
COP various forms of copula verb be PSS passive sufx
DP dative particle QT quotative particle
FP fnal particle Q question particle
LK nominal linking particle S subject particle
NEG negative TOP topic particle
NML nominalizer
Collins, Peter C. 1991. Clef and Pseudo-Clef Constructions in English. London: Routledge. DOI:
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth & Ono, Tsuyoshi. 2007. Incrementing in conversation: A compari-
son of practices in English, German and Japanese. Pragmatics 17(4): 513552.
Davidse, Kristin. 2000. A constructional approach to clefs. Linguistics 38: 11011131. DOI:
Ford, Cecilia E. 2004. Contingency and units in interaction. Discourse Studies 6(1): 2752. DOI:
Ford, Cecilia E. & Tompson, Sandra A. 1996. Interactional units in conversation: Syntactic,
intonational, and pragmatic resources for the management of turns. In Ochs, Scheglof &
Tompson (eds), 13484.
Ford, Cecilia E., Fox, Barbara A. & Tompson, Sandra A. 1996. Practices in the contruction of
turns: Te TCU revisited. Pragmatics 6: 427454.
Ford, Cecilia E., Fox, Barbara A. & Tompson, Sandra A. (eds). 2002. Te Language of Turn and
Sequence. Cambridge: CUP.
Geluykens, Ronald. 1991. Discourse functions of it-clefs in English conversation. Communica-
tion and Cognition 24(34): 343358.
Goodwin, Charles. 1996. Transparent vision. In Ochs, Scheglof & Tompson (eds), 370404.
Goodwin, Charles. 2000a. Gesture, aphasia, and interaction. In Language and Gesture, David
McNeil (ed.), 8498. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511620850.006
Goodwin, Charles. 2000b. Action and embodiment within situated human interaction. Journal
of Pragmatics 32: 14891522. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00096-X
Goodwin, Marjorie Harness & Goodwin, Charles. 1986. Gesture and coparticipation in the ac-
tivity of searching for a word. Semiotica 62: 5175. DOI: 10.1515/semi.1986.62.1-2.29
Gundel, Jeanette K. 1977. Where do clef sentences come from? Language 53: 543559. DOI:
Harada, S.I. 2000 [1972]. Hobun ryooshiki no no. In Syntax and Meaning: S. I. Harada Collected
Works in Linguistics, 439447. Tokyo: Taishukan Publishing.
Hayashi, Makoto. 2001. Postposition-initiated utterances in Japanese conversation: An interac-
tional account of a grammatical practice. In Selting & Couper-Kuhlen (eds), 317344.
Hayashi, Makoto. 2003a. Joint Utterance Construction in Japanese Conversation [Studies in Dis-
course and Grammar 12], Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/sidag.12
iio Junko Mori
Hayashi, M. 2003b. Language and the body as resources for collaborative action: A study of
word searches in Japanese conversation. Research on Language and Social Interaction 36 (2):
109141. DOI: 10.1207/S15327973RLSI3602_2
Hayashi, Makoto. 2004a. Discourse within a sentence: An exploration of postpositions in Japa-
nese as an interactional resource. Language in Society 33: 343376. DOI: 10.1017/
Hayashi, Makoto. 2004b. Projection and grammar: Notes on the action-projecting use of the
distal demonstrative are in Japanese. Journal of Pragmatics 36: 13371374. DOI: 10.1016/j.
Hayashi, Makoto & Yoon, Kyung-Eun. 2009. Negotiating boundaries in talk. In Conversation
Analaysis: Comparative Perspectives, Jack Sidnell (ed.), 248276. Cambridge: CUP. DOI:
Herriman, Jennifer. 2003. Negotiating identity: Te interpersonal functions of wh-clefs in
English. Functions of Language 10(1): 130. DOI: 10.1075/fol.10.1.02her
Herriman, Jennifer. 2008. Te interpersonal function of clefs in English and Swedish. Lan-
guages in Contrast 8(2): 143160. DOI: 10.1075/lic.8.2.02her
Hopper, Paul. 1988. Emergent grammar and the a priori grammar postulate. In Linguistics in
Context, Deborah Tannen (ed.), 117134. Norwood NJ: Ablex.
Hopper, Paul. 2004. Te openness of grammatical constructions. Proceedings from the Annual
Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society 40(2): 153175.
Hopper, Paul. 2007. Linguistics and micro-rhetoric: A twenty-frst century encounter. Journal of
English Linguistics 35(3): 236252. DOI: 10.1177/0075424207305307
Iwasaki, Shimako. 2008. Collaborative Construction of Talk in Japanese Conversation. PhD dis-
sertation, University of California, Los Angeles.
Iwasaki, Shimako. 2009. Initiating interactive turn spaces in Japanese conversation: Local
projection and collaborative action. Discourse Processes 46: 226246. DOI: 10.1080/016385
Iwasaki, Shoichi. 1997. Te Northridge earthquake conversations: Te foor structure and the
loop sequence in Japanese conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 28: 66193. DOI: 10.1016/
Iwasaki, Shoichi. 2002. Japanese [London Oriental and African Language Library 5]. Amsterdam:
John Benjamins.
Iwasaki, Shoichi & Ono, Tsuyoshi. 1999. Bun saikoo: Kaiwa ni okeru bun no tokuchoo to ni-
hongo kyooiku e no teian. In Gengogaku to Nihongo Kyooiku: Jitsuyooteki Gengo Kenkyuu no
Koochiku o Mezashite, Yukiko Sasaki Alam (ed.), 129144. Tokyo: Kuroshio.
Iwasaki, Shoichi & Ono, Tsuyoshi. 2002. Sentence in spontaneous spoken Japanese discourse.
In Complex Sentences in Grammar and Discourse: Essays in Honor of Sandra A. Tompson,
Joan L. Bybee & Michael Noonan (eds), 175202. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Jeferson, Gail. 1978. Sequential aspects of storytelling in conversation. In Studies in the Organi-
zation of Conversational Interaction, Jim Schenkein (ed.), 21948. New York NY: Aca-
demic Press.
Jeferson, Gail. 1984. Notes on some orderliness of overlap onset. In Discourse Analysis and Nat-
ural Rhetorics, Valentina DUrso & Paolo Leonardi (eds), 1138. Padova: CLEUP Editore.
Jucker, Andreas H. 1997. Te relevance of clef constructions. Multilingua 16 (23): 187198.
DOI: 10.1515/mult.1997.16.2-3.187
Te re-examination of so-called clefs ii:
Kamio, Akio. 1990. Clef sentences and the territory of information. In Interdisciplinary Ap-
proaches to Language: Essays in Honor of S. Y. Kuroda, Carol J. Georgopoulos (ed.) 353371.
Dordrecht: Kluwer.
Kim, Kyu-hyun. 1995. Wh-clefs and lef-dislocation in English conversation: Cases of topical-
ization. In Word Order in Discourse [Typological Studies in Language 30], Pamela A. Down-
ing & Michael Noonan (eds), 247296. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Kokuritsu Kokugo Kenkyuujo (National Language Research Institute). 1963. Hanashi Kotoba no
Bunkei, 2: Dokuwa shiryoo ni yoru kenkyuu. Tokyo: Shuuei Shuppan.
Lambrecht, Knud. 2001. A framework for the analysis of clef constructions. Linguistics 39: 456
516. DOI: 10.1515/ling.2001.021
Lerner, Gene H. & Takagi, Tomoyo. 1999. On the place of linguistic resources in the organiza-
tion of talk-in-interaction: A co-investigation of English and Japanese grammatical prac-
tice. Journal of Pragmatics 31(1): 4975. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-2166(98)00051-4
Linton, Larry D. & Lerner, Gene H. 2004. Before the beginning: Breath taking in conversation.
Ms, University of California, Santa Barbara.
McNeill, David. 1992. Hand and Mind: What Gestures Reveal about Tought. Chicago IL: Uni-
versity of Chicago Press.
Miller, Jim. 1995. Does spoken language have sentences? In Grammar and Meaning: Essays in
Honour of Sir John Lyons, Frank R. Palmer (ed.), 116135. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/
Mori, Junko. 1999. Negotiating Agreement and Disagreement in Japanese: Connective Expressions
and Turn Construction [Studies in Discourse and Grammar 8]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
DOI: 10.1075/sidag.8
Nakamura, Kanae. 2009. Interactive Negotiation of Perspectives in Japanese: Predicate-fnal
Structure as a Resource to Organic Interaction. PhD dissertation, University of Wisconsin-
Ochs, Elinor, Scheglof, Emanuel A. & Tompson, Sandra A. (eds). 1996. Interaction and Gram-
mar. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511620874
Ono, Tsuyoshi & Suzuki, Ryoko. 1992. Word order variability in Japanese conversation: Motiva-
tion and grammaticization. Text 12: 429445. DOI: 10.1515/text.1.1992.12.3.429
Prince, Ellen. 1978. A comparison of wh-clefs and it-clefs in discourse. Language 54(4): 883
906. DOI: 10.2307/413238
Sacks, Harvey. 1974. An analysis of the course of a jokes telling in conversation. In Explorations
in the ethnography of speaking, Richard Bauman & Joel Sherzer (eds), 33753. Cambridge:
Sacks, Harvey. 1992. Lectures on Conversation. Oxford: Backwell.
Sacks, Harvey & Scheglof, Emanuel A. 2002. Home position. Gesture 2(2): 133146. DOI:
Sacks, Harvey, Scheglof, Emanuel A. & Jeferson, Gail. 1974. A simplest systematics for the or-
ganiztion of turn-taking for conversation. Language 50: 696735. DOI: 10.2307/412243
Scheglof, Emanuel A. 1980. Preliminaries to preliminaries: Can I ask you a question? Socio-
logical Inquiry 50(34): 10452. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-682X.1980.tb00018.x
Scheglof, Emanuel A. 1982. Discourse as an interactional achievement: some uses of uh huh
and other things that come between sentences. In Georgetown University Roundtable on
Language and Linguistics, Deborah Tannen (ed.), 7193. Washington DC: Georgetown
University Press.
iii Junko Mori
Scheglof, Emanuel A. 1996. Turn organization: One intersection of grammar and interaction. In
Ochs, Scheglof & Tompson (eds), 52133. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511620874.002
Selting, Margaret. 2000. Te contruction of units in conversational talk. Language in Society 29:
477517. DOI: 10.1017/S0047404500004012
Selting, Margaret & Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth (eds). 2001. Studies in Interactional Linguistics
[Studies in Discourse and Grammar 10]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/
Streeck, Jrgen. 1988. Te signifcance of gesture: How it is established. IPrA Papers in Pragmat-
ics 2: 6083.
Streeck, Jrgen. 1993. Gesture as communication, I: Its coordination with gaze and speech.
Communication Monographs 60: 275299. DOI: 10.1080/03637759309376314
Tanaka, Hiroko. 1999. Turn-taking in Japanese Conversation: A Study in Grammar and Interac-
tion [Pragmatics & Beyond New Serie 56]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Tanaka, Hiroko. 2000. Turn projection in Japanese talk-in-interaction. Research on Language
and Social Interaction 33(1): 138. DOI: 10.1207/S15327973RLSI3301_1
Weinert, Regina & Miller, Jim. 1996. Clef constructions in spoken language. Journal of Prag-
matics 25: 173206. DOI: 10.1016/0378-2166(94)00079-4
Activity, participation, and joint turn
A conversation analytic exploration
of grammar-in-action*
Makoto Hayashi
Once we register that language fgures in the actual, practical activities of the
lives of people and societies, and that how the language is confgured is more
than incidentally related to its involvement in those activities, it is readily
apparent that, at the very least, attention must be paid to what the relationship
is between activity, action and the orderly deployment of language called
grammar. (Scheglof, Ochs & Tompson 1996: 21)
Tis chapter pursues an action-oriented view of language as a vehicle for partici-
pation in everyday communicative activities. To illustrate how local regularities
in the deployment of language as forms of participation are shaped by the organi-
zation of communicative activities, the chapter examines joint turn construction
a practice whereby a participant in conversation completes a grammatical unit-
in-progress initiated by another participant. Te analysis shows, on the one hand,
how grammar shapes relevant ways in which participants package their action in
completing another speakers turn-at-talk. It also demonstrates, on the other
hand, how grammatical structure emerges as the outcome of situated actions of
the participants.
* Tis chapter is based on a larger study on joint utterance construction in Japanese conver-
sation (Hayashi 2003). I am grateful to John Benjamins for permission to reprint in this article
some of the materials published in Chapter 3 of that earlier manuscript. I wish to thank the fol-
lowing people for their helpful comments at various stages of the development of my analyses
presented in this article: Barbara Fox, Charles Goodwin, Kaori Kabata, Curtis LeBaron, Junko
Mori, Tsuyoshi Ono and Hiroko Tanaka. Any remaining shortcomings are my responsibility.
ii| Makoto Hayashi
1. Introduction
Te goal of this chapter is to explore the ramifcation of an interaction-oriented
view of language for the study of grammar. Te fundamental question that moti-
vates this exploration is the issue of how we should conceptualize the relationship
between grammar (or structure, more broadly) and situated human action. Te
relationship between structure and action, or the tension between them, has been
much debated in various felds in the past several decades. In the framework of
classical structuralism, structure has been conceptualized as externally and inter-
nally constraining rules that regulate situated human conduct, existing prior to,
and independently of, local contexts of action. Such a conceptualization of a priori,
autonomous structure exerting a dominant infuence over situated action has been
repeatedly questioned and challenged in a number of disciplines in the human and
social sciences (Bourdieu 1977; Giddens 1979, 1984; Vygotsky 1978; Garfnkel
1967; Zimmerman & Boden 1991; Lave & Wenger 1991; Hopper 1987, 1988, 1998;
Linell 1982, 2005; among others). One crucial problem with the structuralist view,
it has been pointed out, is its failure to capture the relationship between structure
and action in dynamic terms. Tis failure stems from the static dichotomies pre-
supposed in the structuralist thinking, such as system vs. use, langue vs. parole,
competence vs. performance, macro-system vs. micro-genesis, etc., where the for-
mer in each pair is viewed as an invariant, self-contained structure that is clearly
delineated from the latter, while the latter is seen as playing no meaningful role in
the constitution of the former. In reaction to this static view of the structure-action
relationship, an alternative has been proposed that regards as central the essen-
tially refexive and dialectical relationship between structure and action (see the
works cited above). In this alternative view, structure does not simply underlie ac-
tion as its source and precondition, but it is also the outcome of emergent regu-
larities in situated actions in local contexts of interaction. Structure and action are
thus viewed as mutually shaping one another, with one feeding into the very con-
stitution of the other.
Te present study pursues this alternative conceptualization and explores the
refexive relationship between grammar and action. Te point of departure for this
exploration is a shif away from the static view of language as close-knit systems of
abstract forms, and a move toward an action-oriented view that sees language as a
vehicle for participation in everyday communicative activities. To illustrate how
local regularities in the deployment of language as forms of participation are
shaped by the organization of communicative activities, I focus my analysis on
joint turn construction a practice whereby a participant in conversation com-
pletes a grammatical unit-in-progress initiated by another participant. Te follow-
ing fragment provides an example of the practice in question (see the appendix for
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction ii,
the glossary of the transcript symbols and abbreviations used in the excerpts cited
in this paper):
(1) [RKK 24]
1 Harumi: demo::: (.) onna no hito de irezumi
but female lk person cp tattoo
no hito tte::
lk person qt
Bu:::t (.) women with tattoos ((on their bodies))...
2 (1.2)
3Seiji: mita koto nai.
saw event not.exist
((you)) have never seen
Joint turn construction ofers a fruitful site for exploring the interpenetration of
grammar and action because we can directly observe how the details of the orga-
nization of activities-in-progress bear on the grammatical meshing of separate
speakers utterances within a single turn at talk. Tis chapter thus explores the
workings of grammar-in-action observed in the process of negotiating and achiev-
ing joint courses of action through co-constructing turns at talk in a variety of
activity contexts.
Te database for the present study consists of 11 hours of naturally-occurring
conversations among native speakers of Japanese (10 hours of videotaped face-to-
face conversations and one hour of audiotaped telephone conversations). Te
conversations took place among family members, friends, and acquaintances in
causal settings. Some of the participants in the conversations are speakers of Tokyo
Japanese, while others are speakers of the Kansai variety.
2. Activity and participation as analytic concepts
Te present study takes the notions of activity and participation as central for the
analysis of grammar-in-action. Underlying this analytic focus on activity and par-
ticipation is the idea that language is always situated in actual context of use and
that its deployment constitutes social action. Te view of language as social action
has a rather long history and it has been pursued in a variety of disciplines, includ-
ing anthropology (e.g., Malinowski [1935] 1978; Hymes 1972; Gumperz 1982),
philosophy (e.g., Wittgenstein 1953; Austin 1962; Searle 1969), psychology (e.g.
Vygotsky 1978), sociology (e.g., Gofman 1981a), and linguistics (e.g., Labov &
Fanshel 1977; Levinson 1979). It is important to note here, however, that using the
iio Makoto Hayashi
notions of activity and participation as the frame of reference for analyzing lan-
guage does not simply entail identifying individual utterances with certain kinds
of action, such as a promise, an apology, etc. Rather, it gives us a way of thinking
about larger frameworks within which interdependent actions operate coherently.
In this way of proceeding with an analysis of language, one does not start with
individual utterances, as most linguists and speech act theorists do, but with the
larger courses of events i.e., activities that interacting participants engage in
and build together by producing utterances and other conduct in concert with one
another. Individual pieces of linguistic (and other) conduct, then, are seen as forms
of participation in, and integral parts of, such activities.
It is crucial to note, moreover, that the notion of activity should not be under-
stood as referring to some static contextual frame within which participants are
made to behave in certain ways. Rather, activity should be conceptualized as a
temporally-unfolding, dynamic process that is organized by both the speaker and
recipients on a moment-by-moment basis. To illustrate what this means, let us
examine the following excerpt discussed by Goodwin and Goodwin (1987), in
which a temporally-unfolding assessment activity is co-constructed by two par-
ticipants who achieve intricate coordination of their conduct by reference to one
anothers with split-second precision.
(2) [Goodwin and Goodwin 1992a: 78; 1992b: 168]
1 Nancy: Jeff made an asparagus pie
((lowers upper ((nod with
trunck)) eyebrow fash))

2 it was s::so[: goo:d.
3 Tasha: [I love it. Yeah I love that.

((nods)) ((starts to withdraw gaze))
In this exchange, the details of the unfolding course of Nancys conduct in line 2
(e.g., the emerging syntactic structure of the form [it] + [copula] + [adverbial in-
tensifer] + [assessment adjective], the prosodic emphasis on the intensifer so, the
gestural marking of emphasis, etc.) progressively provide the recipient with re-
sources to make inferences about what activity the speaker is engaged in at the
moment. Tis temporally-unfolding activity-context allows Tasha to project with
some precision what is going to happen next in the ongoing course of Nancys as-
sessment. Tasha, then, utilizes this projection as a resource to organize her own
conduct in such a way as to initiate an assessment of her own simultaneously with
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction ii
Nancys deployment of the assessment adjective good in line 2. By doing so, she
accomplishes precisely-synchronized participation in the ongoing assessment.
Central to understanding how a situated activity such as this is organized as a
temporally-unfolding, interactively-constituted phenomenon is the notion of par-
ticipation (cf. Philips 1972; Gofman 1981b; C. Goodwin 1981; M. Goodwin
1990). When an activity is initiated, the participants align themselves toward the
event-in-progress as well as toward one another in specifc ways. Tis situated con-
fguration of alignment proposes a particular framework for relevant participation
by reference to which the participants organize their conduct and produce activi-
ty-relevant actions during the course of the activity. For instance, when a partici-
pant initiates a telling of a story, this emerging activity invokes a participation
framework in which one can relevantly align oneself as a story recipient by pro-
ducing uh-huhs while the telling is in progress, as a co-teller by joining in the
ongoing telling, or as a heckler by producing conduct that derails the intended
course of the telling (cf. Sacks 1974; C. Goodwin 1984; Lerner 1992). It also proj-
ects what will constitute a relevant next action to be produced by co-participants,
such as producing laughter at the climax of a story characterized as funny. In the
case of an assessment activity, it invokes a participation framework that proposes
displays of agreement or disagreement to be relevant next actions by recipients
(cf. Pomerantz 1978, 1984a). Hence, we can see that Tasha in fragment (2) above
organizes her conduct by reference to such a participation framework invoked by
the emerging course of Nancys assessment and accomplishes activity-relevant
participation a display of strong agreement by producing a matching assess-
ment of her own even before hearing the core of her interlocutors assessment
(i.e., the adjective good in line 2). Note here that the details of Tashas conduct, in-
cluding the precise placement of her utterance with regard to the emerging course
of Nancys utterance and the accompanying head nods, are shaped by her orienta-
tion to accomplishing a particular kind of participation made relevant by the
ongoing activity. Tus, analyzing utterances and other behaviors as forms of par-
ticipation in situated activities sheds light on the ways in which interactional dy-
namics shape the details of how participants vocal and non-vocal conduct
(including the grammatical structuring of utterances) fgures in interaction.
Recognition of the relevance of activity-contexts and participation frame-
works to the details of how the grammatical structuring of utterances is confgured
is quite useful for the present investigation of grammar-in-action. In what follows,
I examine instances of joint turn construction with a focus on the activities that
the participants engage in and the participation frameworks such activities invoke.
I also investigate how the current non-speakers make use of joint turn construc-
tion to accomplish delicately maneuvered participation in the activity-in-progress.
ii8 Makoto Hayashi
Trough this examination, I demonstrate how the organization of activity and the
grammatical organization of utterances mutually shape one another.
3. Diferentiated participation in situated activities through joint
turn construction
In this section, I examine instances of joint turn construction in Japanese observed
in a number of diferent activity-contexts. For the sake of convenience, in what
follows I use the term frst speaker to refer to the participant who initiates a turn
to be completed by another, and second speaker for the participant who com-
pletes the frst speakers turn-in-progress. Te utterance that completes the frst
speakers utterance-in-progress is referred to as a completing utterance.
3.1 Interactive achievement of shared perspectives
One common type of action that joint turn construction is employed to accomplish
is demonstrating afliation with another participant when such a display of aflia-
tion is made relevant by the activity-in-progress (Lerner 1987; Antaki et al. 1996;
Hayashi & Mori 1998). As discussed above, when a participant presents his/her
stance or perspective toward some object or event, e.g., through an assessment,
such a stance- or perspective-display regularly invokes a participation framework
which makes it relevant for recipients to agree or disagree with the prior speaker
(For English see Pomerantz 1984a; Goodwin & Goodwin 1987. For Japanese see
Mori 1999). Among the variety of ways of doing agreeing (e.g., producing an agree-
ment token such as yeah and the like), saying a version of what the frst speaker is
going to say before he/she says it is a way for the second speaker to demonstrate
(as opposed to merely claim) that he/she shares the same stance or perspective as
the frst speaker. In other words, joint turn construction can be used by participants
to show each other that their minds are together on the issue being discussed.
A close examination of the processes of achieving shared perspectives through
joint turn construction reveals that, in Japanese, the second speaker regularly de-
ploys certain types of grammatical endings in his/her completing utterance that are
devoted to the work of perspective sharing. Japanese is a predicate-fnal language
in which a predicate (typically a verb, but sometimes a predicate adjective or a pred-
icate nominal) regularly occurs at the end of a clausal/sentential utterance. Tere-
fore, joint turn construction is ofen realized by supplying a predicate that comes at
the end of the ongoing utterance initiated by the frst speaker. In addition, a clause/
sentence-fnal predicate in Japanese can be followed by so-called utterance-fnal
elements (Tanaka 1999), such as auxiliary verbs and sentence-fnal particles, which
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction ii
serve to indicate; i) the speakers afect, perspective, epistemic stance, etc., toward
the proposition expressed, and ii) the speakers interpersonal sensitivity towards the
addressee in the speech situation (Watanabe 1953; Haga 1954; Uyeno 1971; Cook
1990, 1992; Iwasaki 1993a, 1993b; Maynard 1993; Kamio 1994, 1997). Tis struc-
tural possibility of deploying epistemic and interpersonal stance markers afer
clause/sentence-fnal predicates allows Japanese speakers who perform joint turn
construction to manage fnely-tuned grammatical displays of particular footing
(Gofman 1981b; Antaki et al 1996) on which they complete another speakers ut-
terance-in-progress. In other words, unlike joint turn construction in English, the
negotiation of whose voice the second speaker is animating through joint turn
construction and what kind of participatory stance he/she is taking can be indicat-
ed by the grammatical form of the completing utterance in Japanese.

In the instances examined for the present study, joint turn construction used
for achieving stance/perspective sharing regularly involves the delivery of the fol-
lowing types of clusters of utterance-fnal elements afer a predicate:
a. [predicate] + yo ne (or yo na)
b. [predicate] + mon ne (or mon na)
c. [predicate] + [tag-question-like element, such as jan(ai)]
What is common in these grammatical endings is that they contain the elements
of both the speakers assertion and a solicitation of acknowledgment from the re-
cipient. For instance, in (a) and (b), the fnal particle yo and the nominalizer mon
both indicate a sense of insistence in asserting a claim, while the fnal particle ne
or na seeks agreement or confrmation from the recipient. In (c), assertion and
agreement/confrmation-seeking are confated in the tag-question-like expression
jan(ai). Te juxtaposition of these two elements, i.e., assertion and agreement/
confrmation-seeking, is important for accomplishing shared perspectives through
joint turn construction for the following reasons. First, by invoking the sense of an
assertion of a claim, the second speaker indicates that what he/she is voicing in the
completing utterance is not merely a guess of what the frst speaker would say to
complete his/her utterance, but also the second speakers own assertion of a stance
toward the issue under discussion. In other words, with yo or mon, the second
speaker claims his/her entitlement (Sacks 1992) to the content of the jointly pro-
duced utterance. On the other hand, by soliciting confrmation and agreement
from the frst speaker, the second speaker proposes his/her utterance as a collab-
orative (rather than an individual) assertion of a shared perspective, for which the
1. See also Morita (2002), who made similar observations regarding the relationship between
the grammatical endings of completing utterances and the speakers authority toward his/her
io Makoto Hayashi
frst speakers validation is indispensable. To put it in a slightly diferent way, by
deploying such grammatical endings as yo ne, mon ne, and jan(ai), the second
speaker embeds the voices of both participants, i.e., the frst and second speakers,
within the completing utterance. And when the frst speaker in the subsequent
turn confrms the second speakers rendition of the dual-voiced completion, a
shared perspective is sequentially and interactively accomplished.
Let us examine some instances. Fragment (3) presents an excerpt from a dis-
cussion about tooth-brushing among four participants. Prior to the beginning of
this excerpt, Muneo and Yurie stated that they used to have quite a few cavities
because they did not like brushing their teeth. In response to this, the other two,
Shoko and Kanji, state that they love brushing their teeth so much that their den-
tists told them that they did it too much the enamel on their teeth was getting
scoured of. Examine the following fragment to see how Shoko and Kanji interac-
tively accomplish alliance formation an alliance of lovers of tooth-brushing.
(3) [TYC 31]
1 Shoko: ... .hh ha- haguki to ha no kokorahen ga
gum and tooth lk sp
... .hh Te area around here between the gum and the teeth...
2 kezuraresugi toka:?
be.scoured.of etc.
... gets scoured of, or something?
3 Yurie: a::::::.
4 Kanji: u:::::n na- (.) soo- tabun soo na n deshoo
yeah so probably so cp n cp
Yeah::: (.) ((I)) guess thats probably what ((it)) is.
5 Shoko: watashi mo so[o iwa]reru.
I also so be.told
((Tey)) say that to me, too.
[ ]
6 Muneo: [((snif))]
7 (0.5)
8 Muneo: [( )]
[ ]
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i:
9 Kanji: [tada nanka moo] tsurutsuru shite nai to:
but like emp smooth is not if
But, like, if ((the teeth)) arent smooth,
10 (0.3) i[ya da kara::] cp because
(0.3) ((I)) would hate ((it)), so...
[ ]
11 Shoko: [soo desu yo ] ne::.
so cp fp fp
((Tat))s right, isnt it?
12 Kanji: yappari tetteeteki ni:: (0.3)
as.expected thoroughly
... you know, thoroughly:: (0.3)
13Shoko: migakimasu yo [ne::.]
brush fp fp
((we)) brush ((our teeth)), dont ((we))?
[ ]
14 Kanji: [u:::]::n.
In lines 12, Shoko asks Kanji for confrmation about what his dentist told him
about brushing too much. Kanji ofers confrmation in line 4 and Shoko seconds it
by saying, watashi mo soo iwareru (((Tey)) say that to me, too), in line 5. Kanji
then states that he would not like it if his teeth were not smooth (lines 910) and
Shoko agrees rather emphatically with soo desu yo ne:: (((Tat))s right, isnt
((it))?) at line 11. In these exchanges between Shoko and Kanji, we already ob-
serve moves of afliation (e.g., lines 5 and 11) that display their alignment as lov-
ers of tooth-brushing. It is in this activity-context that joint turn construction is
employed to collaboratively achieve a shared perspective. At line 13, Shoko sup-
plies a predicate (migakimasu to brush) that completes Kanjis utterance-in-prog-
ress in line 12. Note here that Shoko produces the combination of the fnal particles
yo + ne afer the predicate. As described above, by deploying these particles, Shoko
presents the predicate migakimasu (to brush) as her own assertion of a stance, on
the one hand, and proposes it as a shared perspective that requires Kanjis confr-
mation, on the other. Te sense that the yo ne ending conveys is roughly expressed
in the translation with the pronoun we (which is not present in the original
Japanese) rather than you, and the tag question, dont we? In line 14 Kanji con-
frms Shokos completion and through this sequence of actions by the two partici-
pants, a shared perspective is interactively and collaboratively achieved.
ii Makoto Hayashi
Fragment (4) provides another instance of stance/perspective sharing through
joint turn construction. Tis fragment is taken from a conversation among four
middle-aged women in which the participants talk about various issues and con-
cerns related to middle-aged women. Te following portion of the conversation
presents a part of storytelling by Emiko, who describes her experience at a bou-
tique to the other participants. Prior to the beginning of the fragment, Emiko
mentioned that a sales woman recommended a dress with a belt around the waist,
which, in Emikos opinion, does not look good on a middle-aged womans lumpy
body because the belt would only make visible the layers of body fat. In lines 12,
4, 67, Emiko states that such a dress would look good on someone who is tall and
thin. In the course of this assessment utterance by Emiko, one of the recipients,
Yaeko, accomplishes activity-relevant participation display of agreement and
alignment with Emiko as another middle-aged woman by co-constructing a
shared stance toward the event under discussion through joint turn construction
(see lines 1112, 14, and 16).
(4) [OBS 6]
1 Emiko: are wa ne:, hoso:kutte NE:, (0.3)
that tp fp thin:and fp
2 ano uwazee ga atte:,=
uhm height sp exist:and
If ((you)) were thin and (0.3) uhm, tall, and
3 Yaeko: =so[o da yo ne:,
so cp fp fp
Tats right.
4 Emiko: [zentai ga:,=
whole sp
((your)) whole body...
5 Yaeko: =soo soo.
so so
Right, right.
6 Emiko: u- ano: hosoi kara, .hh beruto shitemo
uhm thin because belt do:even.if
7 su[teki na n] da kedo:=
nice cp n cp although
... were thin, then ((you)) would look nice in that ((sort of
dress)), even if ((you)) wore a belt, bu:t,
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i
[ ]
8 Yaeko: [u::n u:n.]
Uh huh, uh huh.
9 Hanae: =u:n.
Uh huh.
10 Emiko: ((TSK))hn.
((TSK)) hn
11Yaeko: obasan no ne,
middle-aged.woman lk fp
12 [bokon bo[kon ga ne, mata yokee ]
mim(lumpy) mim sp fp also extra
middle-aged women will only get...
[ [ ]
13 Emiko: [obasan no [bokon bokon shita no ga sa:,]
middle-aged lk mim mim is n sp fp
middle-aged womens lumpy ((body)) will...
14Yaeko: =bokon b(h)ok(h)on te [hitotsu huechau
mim mim qt one increase
... another layer on ((their)) lumpy ((bodies))...
15 Emiko: [so.
16Yaeko: =[da mon ne(hh).
cp thing fp
... wont ((they))?
17 Hanae: =[(ikani)mo ne::: heh heh heh
indeed fp
Indeed. heh heh heh
During the course of the frst part of Emikos assessment utterance (lines 12, 4,
and 67), we already observe afliative moves by Yaeko, who produces a number
of agreement/acknowledgment tokens (lines 3, 5, and 8). In lines 1112, 14, and 16,
Yaeko upgrades the display of her agreement/afliation by providing a completion
i| Makoto Hayashi
to Emikos utterance-in-progress.
In this completing utterance, Yaeko ofers her
understanding of what would happen if a middle-aged woman were to wear a
dress with a belt around the waist. Note that, by deploying the combination of mon
+ ne at the end of her utterance (line 16), Yaeko presents her utterance not only as
her understanding of what Emiko was going to say, but also as an assertion of her
independent understanding of the situation, i.e., an independent understanding as
another middle-aged woman who faces similar issues and concerns as Emiko and
who shares the same perspective toward the kind of event that Emiko is comment-
ing on. Tus, through Yaekos joint turn construction with these specifc utterance-
fnal elements, as well as Emikos acknowledgment (line 15), the two participants
manage an interactive accomplishment of alliance as middle-aged women who
share the same concerns about their bodies and clothes.
In this subsection, I examined two instances of joint turn construction per-
formed in the context in which the frst speaker engages in the activity of present-
ing his/her stance or perspective on some object or event. Such an activity-context
invokes a participation framework which makes it relevant for recipients to agree
or disagree with the speaker. Within such a framework for relevant participation,
a recipient can employ joint turn construction as a device to interactively achieve
shared perspective with the speaker. Specifcally, I showed that the second speak-
ers participatory stance toward achieving shared perspective with the frst speaker
shapes the grammatical endings of his/her completing utterance in a particular
way, i.e., the deployment of utterance-fnal elements that serve to present the sec-
ond speakers completing utterance as voicing the two participants perspectives
embedded in it. And when the frst speaker confrms the completing utterance, a
shared perspective is sequentially and interactively accomplished.
In the next subsection, I examine instances in which the second speakers em-
ploy joint turn construction to display their empathetic understanding in the
context in which the frst speaker engages in the telling of his/her personal (past)
2. Here, Yaeko accomplishes joint turn construction by providing the second component of a
compound turn constructional unit (Lerner 1991) in the form of [X-kedo] + [Y] ([Although X]
+ [Y]). One reader pointed out that kedo has come to be used as a kind of fnal particle in con-
versational Japanese and that the presence of [X-kedo] does not always project a subsequent
production of the [Y] component. Tat being true, what is important in this instance is the fact
that the compound structure provides a resource for Yaeko to achieve joint turn construction
irrespective of whether Emiko intended to terminate her turn afer [X-kedo] or continue on to
produce the [Y] component. In other words, as will be seen in some other instances below as
well, quite independent of the frst speakers intention, a co-participant can act on the publicly
available structure of the talk and build his/her participation in a manner that is relevant to the
ongoing activity.
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i,
3.2 Diferentiated displays of empathetic understanding of anothers experience
Another type of action for which joint turn construction is commonly employed
is displaying an empathetic understanding of another participants experience. Te
activity-context in which this type of joint turn construction is observed is difer-
ent from that of stance/perspective sharing described above. In the cases of stance/
perspective sharing, the frst speaker presents (or is about to present) his/her per-
spective or stance toward the kind of event that, in principle, is available for an
independent evaluation by the second speaker. In other words, the two partici-
pants have basically equal access to the event toward which a shared stance is ne-
gotiated through joint turn construction. In the cases of displaying an empathetic
understanding of anothers experience, on the other hand, the frst speaker en-
gages in the activity of telling about his/her personal (past) experience, which in
principle is only available to the person who experiences (or experienced) it. What
the second speaker negotiates in this environment, then, is a display of a vicarious
understanding of someone elses specifc experience which is essentially unavail-
able to him/her.
Let us examine an instance. Fragment (5) (presented above in Fragment (1)) is
taken from a larger sequence of talk in which the participants discuss the kinds of
people that they see in a sentoo (public bathhouse) in Japan. Prior to the begin-
ning of the fragment, the two male participants (Seiji and Akira) stated that they
ofen see people with tattoos on their back typically associated with yakuza
(Japanese mafa) members. In lines 12, Harumi, a female participant, starts to
talk about her experience regarding women with tattoos on their bodies in public
bathhouses. Examine Seijis joint turn construction at line 4.
(5) [RKK 24]
1 Harumi: demo::: (.) onna no hito de irezumi no
but female lk person cp tattoo lk
2 hito tte::
person qt
Bu:::t (.) women with tattoos ((on their bodies))...
3 (1.2)
4Seiji: mita koto nai.
saw event not.exist
((you)) have never seen
5 Harumi: u:::n.
io Makoto Hayashi
Harumis utterance in lines 12 is an initiation of a telling of her personal experi-
ence. Among the relevant actions that the recipients can do as a response to such
a telling is displaying their understanding of what is being told and Seiji accom-
plishes this by employing joint turn construction in line 4. Note here that the per-
sonal experience being told is in principle inaccessible to Seiji, especially given
that the experience being discussed pertains to the female section of the public
bathhouse which is of limits for men. Tus, what Seiji engages in by supplying a
predicate that completes Harumis utterance-in-progress is ofering his candidate,
empathetic understanding of Harumis personal experience, rather than sharing a
perspective toward it. Harumi then confrms his candidate understanding in the
subsequent turn.
Te diference between a display of empathetic understanding of anothers ex-
perience and stance/perspective sharing manifests itself also in the grammatical
endings employed in the completing utterance. As discussed in the previous sub-
section, elements occurring afer the predicate in Japanese ofen indicate the
speakers attitude or stance toward the content of the preceding statement and/or
toward the interlocutor(s). And we have seen that the instances of stance/perspec-
tive sharing exhibit particular types of grammatical endings occurring afer the
predicate in the completing utterance. In the instances of displaying empathetic
understanding, on the other hand, such stance-displaying grammatical endings
are typically lacking. Particularly, the sense of asserting his/her own point of view,
which would be conveyed by yo and mon in the instances of stance/perspective
sharing discussed above, is consistently absent in instances of empathetic under-
standing. Tus, in fragment (5), Seijis completing utterance is delivered with no
utterance-fnal elements that display the second speakers stance. Especially since
it lacks utterance-fnal elements indicating insistence or an assertion of ones own
entitlement to the content of the utterance (e.g., yo and mon), the second speakers
completing utterance is produced and treated simply as a rendition of what would
have been said by the frst speaker, which in turn makes relevant the frst speakers
confrmation or disconfrmation of that rendition. Tus, in contrast to the dual-
voiced character of the completing utterance in stance/perspective sharing which
embeds the voices of both participants in it, the second speaker who engages in a
display of empathetic understanding simply animates (in Gofmans (1981b)
sense) the frst speakers voice in his/her completing utterance and subjects it to
confrmation or disconfrmation by the frst speaker in the next turn.
Te next fragment presents a case in which a co-participant engages in trans-
forming a telling of an essentially unavailable, particular personal experience of
another participant into a sharing of an accessible, generic experience via joint
turn construction. In this instance, the second speaker manages a fnely-tuned
display of her understanding of selective aspects of the frst speakers experience
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i
aspects that transcend the particularity of individual experiences and that are
generic enough to be accessible to others.
In fragment (6), Hayao engages in the activity of telling his recipient, Izumi,
about what he experienced at their mutual female friends wedding. Note that Izumi
did not attend the wedding and has never seen the brother of the mutual friends that
Hayao talks about in his telling. Terefore, the content of Hayaos telling i.e., the
striking resemblance that he observed between their mutual female friend and her
younger brother at the wedding is only accessible to Izumi through Hayaos talk.
(6) [TI 14]
1 Hayao: honma sono KUse made sokkuri tte yuu
really uhm habit even exactly.same qt say
Really, uhm, the fact that even ((his)) little habits are...
2 no [wa yappari ne: nakanaka ano::: .hhh]
N tp you.know fp rather uhm
...exactly the same ((as his sisters)) is, you know, like, uh-
hhm, .hhh
[ ]
3 Izumi: [he:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::.]
Oh wo:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::w
4 Hayao: mitete ne::,
be.seeing fp
...while seeing ((it))
5 Izumi: u:::n.hh=
Uh huh. hh
6 Hayao: =m(h)oo: chotto:=
emp a.little
7Izumi: =waratte shim(h)a(h)u hh hh .hh
((you)) cant help l(h)augh(h)ing hh hh .hh
In lines 12, 4, and 6, Hayao reports that even the little habits are almost identical
between the two siblings. He bases his telling on his actual experience of having
observed the resemblance at the wedding (mitete ne::, while seeing ((it)) in line 4).
Izumi then delivers a predicate at line 7 that completes Hayaos utterance-in-prog-
ress, thereby displaying her empathetic understanding of the situation being told
about. Recall that Izumi does not have the kind of direct experience that Hayao
possesses to draw on when producing this completing utterance. Nonetheless, she
i8 Makoto Hayashi
accomplishes a delicately maneuvered display of her understanding of a selective
aspect of the event being recounted. Note that Izumi uses the non-past predicate
form, waratte shimau (cant help laughing), rather than the past-tense form,
waratte shimatta (couldnt help laughing), in completing Hayaos utterance-in-
progress. By using the non-past form, she constructs her completing utterance as
an understanding of a generic experience, i.e., how anyone (including herself)
would react if he/she were in the same situation. If Izumi had deployed the past-
tense form of the predicate, waratte shimatta (couldnt help laughing), at line 7, it
would be heard as an ofer of her candidate understanding of Hayaos past experi-
ence, as in you, Hayao, couldnt help laughing on that particular occasion in the
past when you saw the resemblance. Tus, while Izumi has only limited access to
the particular experience that Hayao had, she nonetheless exhibits access to a se-
lective aspect of the experience, i.e., a generic aspect that anyone would share if he/
she were in the same situation.
Tis instance documents a process whereby a
world of shared experience experience that transcends the particularity of pri-
vate experiences and is identical for all practical purposes (Schutz 1962; Garfnkel
1967; Heritage 1984) among diferent individuals is brought into being through
a fnely-diferentiated display of empathetic understanding via the grammatical
design in the completing utterance.
In this subsection, I examined how the second speakers, in the course of
negotiating joint participation in the frst speakers telling of his/her personal
experience, accomplish fnely-diferentiated displays of their empathetic under-
standing of the frst speakers personal experience. We observed that the second
speakers orientation to the inaccessibility of the frst speakers personal experi-
ence shapes the grammatical design of their completing utterances, especially in
terms of the absence of utterance-fnal elements that convey the sense of claiming
3. In other words, the you in the translation of line 7 does not (solely) refer to the interlocu-
tor, Hayao, but to any individual who would fnd him/herself in such a situation, i.e., the ge-
neric you. Note that, in the Japanese original, the subject of the predicate does not have to be,
and is not, expressed, and therefore, the transformation from the personal to the generic is
achieved solely through the tense form of the predicate.
4. One reader pointed out that, at least on the written transcript, it is possible to interpret
Izumis utterance in line 7 as her own reaction to Hayaos telling, i.e., I (=Izumi) cant help
laughing! Although I lack technical vocabulary to defend my interpretation, the prosody with
which line 7 is said makes it sound like a profer of her candidate understanding, rather than an
expression of her reaction to the ongoing telling.
5. Goodwin and Goodwin (1987) discuss similar cases from English conversations in which
two participants who engage in a concurrent assessment activity manage fne displays of difer-
ential access to the event being assessed. Tere as well, diferent tense forms are mobilized to
accomplish fnely-tuned displays of diferential access.
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i
ones entitlement to the content of the jointly produced utterance. We also ob-
served that co-participants can mobilize grammatical and other resources to
accomplish the transformation of a telling of a private personal experience into
a sharing of the understanding of generic aspects of the experience. Te deli-
cately-engineered interactive process observed above might be the participants
enactment of what Schutz (1962) would call reciprocity of perspectives; that is,
despite their non-identical experiences and despite their lack of access to the
full particularity of one anothers experiences, participants still proceed on the
assumption that their experiences are identical for all practical purposes and
can achieve shared understanding that transcends individuals private experien-
tial worlds.
Next, I examine instances in which a teaming-up of two participants is ac-
complished through joint turn construction.
3.3 Assisted explaining
So far I have examined cases in which the second speaker who produces the com-
pleting utterance is not only an addressed recipient of the frst speakers ongoing
utterance but also directs the completing utterance to the frst speaker. Te con-
fguration of this type of joint turn construction can be represented by the follow-
ing diagram (See Figure 1).
In this subsection, I discuss instances in which the second speaker who pro-
duces the completing utterance is a non-addressed participant, and the complet-
ing utterance is directed to a third party who is the addressed recipient of the frst
speakers ongoing utterance.
Schematically (See Figure 2).
ongoing utterance
completing utterance
A = first speaker
B = second speaker [addressed recipient of As talk]
Figure 1.
6. It is Gene Lerners work (Lerner 1987, 1996; Lerner & Takagi 1999) on joint turn construc-
tion in English that frst brought my attention to the diference in the directionality of joint turn
construction in my Japanese cases.
i|o Makoto Hayashi
ongoing utterance
completing utterance
A = first speaker
B = second speaker [non-addressed participant]
C = third party [addressed recipient of As and Bs talk]
Figure 2.
As seen in the diagram above, this type of joint turn construction occurs in multi-
party (i.e., more-than-two-party) conversation. And it is used to form a local
alignment of two (or more) participants as an interactional team vis--vis a third
party. One common activity-context in which such teaming-up is observed is one
in which some sort of explaining takes place. On such occasions, the second
speaker uses joint turn construction to accomplish participation in the frst speak-
ers explaining as a co-explainer, addressing the completing utterance to a third-
party explainee. I adopt the term assisted explaining from Lerner and Takagi
(1999) to refer to this use of joint turn construction.
Let us examine some instances of interactional teaming-up in assisted ex-
Fragment (7) is taken from a conversation in which two married couples are
talking. In this segment, Yurie and her husband Kanji are explaining to the other
couple their experience of having had trouble renting a wedding dress of the right
size for Yurie.
(7) [TYC 44]
1 Kanji: saizu: ga: ne::, (.)
size sp fp
Te ((right)) size, ((you)) know, (.)
2 ano yappa chicchai kara[::]
uhm as.expected small because
uhm, ((you)) see, since ((she))s small,
[ ]
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i|:
3 Shoko: [u:]:::::n.
Uh huh
4Yurie: [(na)i: n desu yo::::::.]
not.exist N cp fp
isnt there.
[ ]
5 Kanji: [sentakushi ga::, kagira]retete.
options sp
((our)) options were limited, and,
In this instance, we observe the co-participants fnely-tuned grammatical work
for accomplishing the interactional task of assisted explaining. In line 1, Kanji ini-
tiates an utterance about the size of wedding dresses by producing a nominal (saizu
size) marked with the subject particle ga. Afer a micro-pause, he constructs a
kara-clause (roughly equivalent to a because-clause in English), in which he pres-
ents Yuries small stature as a reason for something. Afer Shokos acknowledgment
token in line 3, then, Yurie starts up and participates in the talk-in-progress as a
co-explainer of the situation under discussion through joint turn construction.
She provides a predicate for the subject nominal that Kanji constructed in line 1
(saizu: ga: ne:: + (na)i: n desu yo::::::. Teres no ((right)) size) and brings Kanjis
utterance-in-progress to completion.
It is interesting to compare Yuries completion in line 4 and Kanjis own com-
pletion in line 5 in terms of how these two participants contextualize the gram-
matical trajectory of the utterance-so-far. As discussed above, Yurie builds her
utterance in line 4 as a continuation and completion of Kanjis utterance in line 1.
Trough this completion, her utterance in efect retroactively contextualizes the
kara-clause in line 2 as a clause-internal insertion. Figure 3 represents this opera-
tion schematically.
On the other hand, Kanjis utterance in line 5 produced in overlap with Yuries
completing utterance contextualizes the utterance-so-far slightly diferently. Tat
is, Kanjis own completion of his utterance-in-progress only provides a continu-
ance of what he stated in line 2 (ano yappa chicchai kara:: [line 2] + sentakushi ga::,
kagiraretete [line 5] Uhm, ((you)) see, since ((she))s small, ((our)) options were
limited, and), and is structurally disconnected from the utterance in line 1. Tus,
Kanjis completion in line 5 retroactively displays that he has abandoned the sub-
ject nominal that he constructed in line 1 (saizu: ga: ne:: Te ((right)) size, ((you))
know,). See Figure 4.
i|i Makoto Hayashi
Line 4: Line 1:
Line 2:
ano yappa chicchai kara::
uhm, ((you)) see, since ((she))s small,
saizu: ga: ne::,
Te ((right)) size,
((you)) know,
(na)i: n desu
isn't there.
Figure 3.
Line 1: Line 2:
retroactively displays that line
1has been abandoned
Line 5:
ano yappa
chicchai kara:: uhm,
((you)) see, since ((she))s
saizu: ga: ne::,
Te ((right)) size,
((you)) know,
Sentakushi ga::,
((our)) options were
limited, and,
Figure 4.
In this instance, then, quite independent of the original speakers intention (i.e., the
abandonment of the subject nominal in line 1), a co-participant acts on the pub-
licly available structure of the talk that has already been produced and builds her
participation in the ongoing activity as a co-explainer based on that structure. Tis
instance can thus be seen as suggesting that language in interaction does not
(simply) reside in the speakers mind, but exists between participants, so to speak,
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i|
as a publicly available, social structure that mediates multiple participants action
in concert with one another.
Before moving on to discuss another subtype of joint turn construction used
for assisted explaining, a note on the grammatical ending of the completing utter-
ance observed in fragment (7) is in order. Here again, we observe that the second
speakers participatory stance toward the activity-in-progress shapes the gram-
matical endings of his/her completing utterance in a particular way. Notice that in
fragments (7), the second speaker deploys the particle yo at the end of her com-
pleting utterance (line 4). As stated above with regard to the sequence of yo and ne
(Section 2.1), the particle yo indicates the sense of insistence in making ones own
assertion and of claiming his/her entitlement to the content of the utterance that it
marks. It was argued there that yo occurring in the second speakers completing
utterance serves to present his/her own voice in the completing utterance. Note
then that, unlike the cases of stance/perspective sharing in which yo co-occurs
with another utterance-fnal element, ne, which serves to solicit confrmation or
agreement from the addressee, the completing utterance in fragment (7) only has
the particle that presents the speakers voice and lacks any utterance-fnal elements
that seeks the addressees confrmation. Tis presents a markedly diferent situa-
tion from the cases discussed above, especially those that involve interactive
achievement of shared perspective or shared experience, in which a confrmation
of the second speakers completing utterance by the frst speaker is solicited as an
indispensable part of the constitution of the action being performed through joint
turn construction.
It is important to recall here that, in the cases of assisted explaining, the second
speaker participates in the ongoing activity of explaining as a co-explainer, i.e.,
someone who has virtually equal access and entitlement to what is being explained
with the frst speaker. Also important is the fact that the second speaker addresses
his/her completing utterance not to the frst speaker whose utterance is being com-
pleted, but to a third party who is assumed not to have prior access to the event being
explained. Within this participation framework, then, the second speaker is entitled
to voice a completing utterance as her own assertion (i.e., with yo), while she does
not need to solicit confrmation from the addressee (i.e., with ne). Tus, here again,
unlike assisted explaining through joint turn construction in English (cf. Lerner &
Takagi; 1999), we can see how, in Japanese, the participation framework in which
completing utterances are produced for achieving assisted explaining has a direct
consequence for the grammatical composition of those completing utterances.
Let us now move on to discuss a slightly diferent type of joint turn construc-
tion used for assisted explaining. In the previous example, the co-members of the
interactional team formed through joint turn construction have virtually equal
access to the event that they explain. In the next example, we observe that the frst
i|| Makoto Hayashi
and second speakers have diferent levels of access/entitlement to the event being
explained. More specifcally, it will be seen that the frst speaker (A) voices
information/experience/etc. that belongs to a co-present participant (B), and di-
rects the utterance to a third party (C). Ten, the co-present participant (B) whose
information/experience/etc. is being discussed joins the frst speakers (A) explain-
ing by means of joint turn construction.
It may be useful here to invoke the notions of AB-events and B-events pro-
posed by Labov and Fanshel (1977) to describe the diference between the two types
of assisted explaining being discussed. Labov and Fanshel (1977) set up a taxonomy
of events that are talked about in interaction in terms of the distribution of knowl-
edge among the participants. Tus, an A-event is an event or piece of information
to which the speaker (A) has more access than a co-participant (B) typically the
recipient. A B-event is an event or piece information to which a co-participant (B)
again, typically the recipient has more access than the speaker (A) does. An AB-
event is an event or piece of information to which both the speaker (A) and a co-
participant (B) have equal access. Accordingly we can describe the two types of
assisted explaining as follows: In the frst type of assisted explaining observed in
fragment (7), the frst speaker (A) explains an AB-event to a third party (C) and
the co-participant (B) who has equal access to the event joins the frst speaker in the
explaining. In the second type being discussed here, on the other hand, the frst
speaker (A) explains a B-event to a third party (C) and the co-participant (B) who
has more access to the event joins the frst speaker in the explaining.
Let us examine an example. In fragment (8), Sanae talks about the co-present
participant Ryokos past experience of having done some volunteer work for the
homeless, but she directs this talk to a third party, Tomoe (not shown in the tran-
script). In line 5, Ryoko, whose experience is being discussed, comes in with an
utterance that completes Sanaes ongoing utterance and thereby accomplishes her
participation in the talk as a co-explainer.
(8) [HR 6]
1 Sanae: soo ryoko chan nanka ippai sonna n
so Ryoko tl like a.lot such N
do:and uhm
Right, Ryoko does that kind of thing a lot,=uhhm
2 .hhh (0.3) kama:- kamagasaki no:,
Kamagasaki lk
.hhh (0.3) in Kama:- Kamagasaki,
3 Ryoko: u:n.
Uh huh
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i|,
4 Sanae: takidashi toka mo[: etc. also
... a food drive, also,
5Ryoko: [u::n. [ikkai itta:.
once went
Uh huh. ((I)) went to, once.
6 Sanae: [itta n ya tte.
went N cp qt
((she)) went to, ((I)) heard.
Labov and Fanshel (1977: 100) point out that when speaker A makes a statement
about a B-event, it is hearable as an invitation for co-participant B to produce an
utterance of confrmation.
To put it in another way, the voicing of words that
pertains to a B-event by speaker A invokes a participation framework that makes
relevant for the author/owner of the statement (B) to confrm the words pro-
duced by the animator (A). In the instance above, Sanaes voicing of a B-event
that pertains to Ryokos past experience makes it relevant for Ryoko as the author/
owner of the statement to provide confrmation of the content of the ongoing tell-
ing by the animator, Sanae. Within this framework of relevant participation, Ryoko
provides confrmation frst through an acknowledgment token (u::n) and then by
supplying a completion for Sanaes utterance-in-progress. Note here that Ryoko
could have confrmed Sanaes telling by producing an acknowledgment token afer
Sanae completes her telling. Instead, by providing a completion to Sanaes utter-
ance and addressing it to the third-party addressee, Ryoko displays her participa-
tory stance as a co-explainer who takes an active part in constructing the telling
toward the third party. Tus, in this instance, we see that joint turn construction is
used as a device for the author/owner of an experience being discussed to join in
the explaining acitivty-in-progress by forming a local alignment of an interac-
tional team with another participation vis--vis the third-party explainee.
7. A similar observation is made by Pomerantz (1980), who shows that participants methodi-
cally use their limited access to information as a device to elicit that information from the
party who has more access to it.
8. Note that the diference in the participatory status between the frst and the second speak-
ers manifests itself in the grammatical forms of the completions that they produce in lines 5 and
6. Tus, while Ryoko produces the simple past-tense form of a verb (itta went), Sanae displays
her participatory role as the animator by adding the quotative particle tte at the end of her
completion in line 6 and thereby marking her utterance as hearsay.
i|o Makoto Hayashi
In this subsection, I described two types of assisted explaining achieved
through joint turn construction that occur in diferent participation frameworks.
Te diference pertains to the distribution of knowledge between co-explainers
about the matter being discussed. Te frst instance showed a case in which the
co-members of the explaining party participate in the activity of explaining as
those who have virtually equal access to the event being relayed to a third party. In
the second instance, the frst speaker who has less access to the event being ex-
plained engages in a B-event telling and thereby invites a co-participant who has
more access to the event to participate in the ongoing activity as the author/owner
of the telling. In both types, the practice of joint turn construction allows for the
interactive construction of a local alliance between two participants vis--vis a
third party.
In the next, fnal subsection, I examine instances in which joint turn con-
struction is used as a way to convert a dispreferred action-in-progress into a
preferred action.
3.4 Converting a dispreferred action to a preferred action
Conversation analysts have demonstrated (e.g., Pomerantz 1978, 1984a, 1984b;
Davidson 1984; Atkinson & Drew 1979; Scheglof, Jeferson & Sacks 1977; Sacks
1987[1973]; Jeferson 1987; Mori 1999, among others) that there is a bias intrin-
sic to many aspects of the organization of talk which is generally favourable to the
maintenance of bonds of solidarity between actors and which promotes the avoid-
ance of confict (Heritage 1984: 265) and that the participants have available a
variety of systematic practices by which they can organize their conduct to con-
tribute to the maintenance of social solidarity. Tus, when an action that could
potentially cause a confict among the participants (i.e., a so-called dispreferred
action) is imminent in a given interactional context, its producer and/or recipient(s)
can mobilize those practices to prevent it from being (fully) actualized. In this
subsection, I examine some ways in which the recipient of an imminent dispre-
ferred action mobilizes joint turn construction to preempt the production of the
dispreferred action by the prior speaker.
Based on data from English conversation, Lerner (1987, 1996) reports that, in
the course of a speakers delivery of an utterance that is recognizably embodying
an imminent dispreferred action (e.g., disagreement, other-correction, etc.), the
addressee can make a mid-turn entry and co-opt the completion of the frst speak-
ers utterance-in-progress, thereby preempting the emerging dispreferred action
in mid course. Trough this co-optation, Lerner demonstrates, the second speaker
can strategically convert an imminent dispreferred action into a collaboratively
achieved, preferred action in the same domain of activity (e.g., from disagreement
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i|
to agreement, from other-correction to self-correction, etc.). A similar practice is
observed in Japanese conversation as well.
Te following fragment shows an instance of the conversion of other-correc-
tion into self-correction. Scheglof, Jeferson and Sacks (1977) demonstrate a
preference for self-correction over other-correction in the organization of repair
in English conversation. Tough there is no systematic study that has explicated
the preference organization in the operation of repair in Japanese, some prelimi-
nary inspection of data from Japanese conversation suggests that Scheglof et al.s
(1977) description of the preference for self-correction over other-correction ap-
plies to Japanese as well. In fragment (9), an emerging utterance that is recogniz-
able as an imminent other-correction (i.e., a dispreferred action) is converted
into a self-correction (i.e., a preferred action) through the practice of joint turn
At the beginning of this fragment, the participants are discussing the origins
of place names in the Plains in the United States. In lines 13, Kooji asks Hideo,
who has lived in the United States, for confrmation of his understanding that the
word Oklahoma came from a Native American language. Instead of directly con-
frming Koojis understanding, Hideo suggests that many place names in the Plains
also came from Native American languages (lines 4, 67, and 9). He then goes on
to state that the Plains is an area which many Native Americans have inhabited for
a long time (line 9, 11, and 13). While he was moving on to mention something
about Nebraska (line 13), Kooji comes in (line 14) and produces an understanding
check as to whether the situation is much like the situation in Hokkaido in Japan,
which has been inhabited for a long time by an indigenous people called Ainu and
which has many place names that came from words in the Ainu language. Exam-
ine the following fragment and see how the interaction transpires afer Koojis un-
derstanding check in line 14.
(9) [FM 23]
1 Kooji: nan okurahoma tte: (3.0) nanka are ja nakatta
what Oklahoma qt like that cp was.not
Doesnt Oklahoma mean, like, that...
2 kono INdian no nanchara mitaina
uhm Indian lk what-you-call-it like
imi no
meaning lk
... uhm Isnt ((it)) a word that means, like, Indians ...
3 (0.5) kotoba chig(h)atta kke?
word was.not Q
i|8 Makoto Hayashi
4 Hideo: kororado mo: maa:
Colorado also well
Colorado is also, well,
5 Kooji: aa soo na n?
oh so cp N
Oh is ((that)) right?
6 Hideo: n chuu ka m- mma ne- ano::: zenbu:: (0.5)
qt:say Q well uhm all
((I)) mean, well, uhm, all:: (0.5)
7 zenbu tte koto nai kedo kekkoo=
all qt thing not but pretty.much
not all, but, pretty much...
8 Kooji: =kono hen wa kekkoo soo na n ka=
this area tp pretty.much so cp N Q
Is ((it)) that ((the situation)) is pretty much like that around
this area [i.e., the Plains]?
9 Hideo: =ooi yo. sono:: (0.6) motomoto:
many fp uhm originally
Quite a bit. Uh::m, (0.6) ((It))s originally...
10 Kooji: oo hoo hoo.
Oh, uh huh, uh huh.
11 Hideo: indian no:
Indian lk
... a place where Indians ...
12 Kooji: [un.]
Uh huh
[ ]
13 Hideo: [oru] toko yashi neburasuka mo nanka
exist place cp:and Nebraska also like
... live, and Nebraska is also, like, uhm ...
14 Kooji: =hokkaidoo mitaina mon ka.
Hokkaido like thing Q
Is ((it that the situation is)) something like Hokkaido?
15 (1.7)
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i|
16Hideo: nmaa sono hokkaidoo no:=
well uhm Hokkaido lk
Well, uhm, Hokkaidos...
17Kooji: =chimee na:.= fp
place names, right?
18 Hideo: =soo [soo soo soo.]
Right, right, right, right.
[ ]
19 Kooji: [( )] toka:
Like ( )
20 Hideo: nn soo soo [soo soo.]
Yeah, right right right right.
[ ]
21 Kooji: [nantoka ] betsu toka.
Like, such-and-such betsu.
Notice that Hideo does not immediately respond to Koojis understanding check in
line 14 as to whether the situation in the Plains in the United States is much like the
situation in Hokkaido in Japan. In fact, there is quite a long silence in line 15 fol-
lowing Koojis understanding check. As shown by the work on the preference orga-
nization in English and Japanese (Pomerantz 1984a; Mori 1999), such a delay in
response that has been made relevant by the prior utterance strongly projects an
upcoming dispreferred action. In addition, when Hideo initiates an utterance in
line 16, he prefaces it with tokens like nmaa (well) and sono (uhm), which are
commonly observed in utterances embodying dispreferred actions. Given these
harbingers of a dispreferred action, Hideo appears to be initiating some action
other than a direct confrmation of Koojis understanding profered in line 14. I
argue that his utterance hokkaidoo no: (the word for Hokkaido followed by the
linker no, which, just like the English genitive -s, projects another noun to be
produced afer it) can be heard as an initiation of other-correction seeking to spec-
ify what Kooji means by hokkaidoo mitaina mon (situation like Hokkaido) in his
understanding check. I say this because Koojis utterance in line 14 is placed afer
Hideos statement about the population of Native Americans in the Plains (lines 9,
11, and 13), and this sequential location makes it equivocal whether the situation
like Hokkaido refers to the population of the native people (i.e., Ainu) in Hokkaido,
or the place names in Hokkaido that came from the Ainu language (or both).
i,o Makoto Hayashi
It is afer the stressed and stretched no in hokkaidoo no:, then, that Kooji makes
a mid-turn entry and supplies the noun chimee (place name), which completes
the projected structure of the form [Noun no + Noun], i.e., [hokkaidoo no + chimee]
(Hokkaidos + place names). By co-opting the completion of Hideos utterance-
in-progress and supplying the word that specifes what is referred to by hokkaidoo
mitaina mon (situation like Hokkaido) himself, Kooji not only preempts the
emerging other-correction being produced, but also converts it into a self-correc-
tion of his own prior utterance in line 14. Note also that Kooji presents the comple-
tion with the utterance-fnal particle na, which is ofen used to seek confrmation/
acknowledgment from the recipient. In the following turn, Hideo provides confr-
mation tokens (soo soo soo soo right right right right). Trough this interactive
process, the conversion of an imminent dispreferred action (other-correction)
into a preferred action (self-correction) is collaboratively achieved.
In the next fragment, in the face of the frst speakers utterance-in-progress
that projects an incipient disagreement, the second speaker employs joint turn
construction and anticipatorily voices the projected disagreement himself. By do-
ing so, he provides the frst speaker with a next-turn slot for an agreeing response
to the profered completion, so as to convert an imminent disagreement to a col-
laboratively achieved agreement. Unlike the previous fragment, however, the frst
speaker in this fragment disregards the second speakers attempt to preempt a dis-
agreement by using the practice of delayed completion (Lerner 1989) and com-
pletes his disagreeing utterance himself. As a result, a preferred action, i.e., agree-
ment, is not collaboratively achieved.
Te participants shown in this fragment are two male graduate students in
economics. In this segment, they are discussing their research methods, particu-
larly the use of statistics. Te focus of their discussion is on how many samples
they would need to obtain reliable results for their research. Examine how the in-
teraction transpires, with a special focus on Akiras joint turn construction in line
9 and Seijis delayed completion in lines 1011.
(10) [RKK 19]
1 Akira: =s:soko de::: (0.7) kyuujuu shiraberu
there 90 examine
2 hitsuyoo nai yo na:
necessity not.exist fp fp
Teres no need to examine 90 out of them ((=100)),
3 (2.5)
4 Akira: sa-
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i,:
5 (0.7)
6 Seiji: u:::::::::::::n .hh demo wakannai yo=
well but not.know fp
We::::::::::::ll .hh but ((you)) never know
7 Akira: =[bi- ]
[ ]
8 Seiji: =[daka]ra:: i- (2.0) doo yuu:: (0.7)
so what.kind.of
So:: i- (2.0) what kind of (0.7)
9Akira: kentee a:: kekka ga deru ka.
test oh result sp come.about Q
test, oh I mean, result will come about.
10Seiji: doo yuu kentee o:: suru ka tte yuu
what.kind.of test O do Q qt say
11 koto ni yoru yo na::=
thing on depend fp fp
((It)) will depend on what kind of test ((you)) do.
12 Akira: =u::n.
In lines 12, Akira produces an agreement-seeking utterance about how many
samples they would need to obtain reliable results, thus making it relevant for
Seiji to ofer a response in the next turn. However, Seiji delays his response consid-
erably, frst by not initiating talk immediately (lines 35), and then by producing a
prolonged preface, u:::::::::::::n (we:::::::::::::ll). He then produces a disagreement-
implicating connective, demo (but), followed by a qualifer, wakannai yo (((you))
never know), which constitutes a mild disagreement. Akira appears to have heard
wakannai yo as a complete response from Seiji to his earlier agreement-seeking
utterance and thus starts to talk on completion of wakannai yo (line 7). On the
other hand, Seiji continues on to produce a further utterance (line 8), projecting,
with dakara (so), some elaboration on his previous remark wakannai yo. Akira
withdraws from the simultaneous talk immediately, thereby letting Seiji continue.
However, when Seiji pauses afer producing doo yuu (what kind of ), Akira comes
in and provides an utterance that completes Seijis utterance-in-progress. In his
completing utterance, Akira voices the projected elaboration of Seijis disagree-
ment on his behalf, thereby attempting to preempt the disagreement import of the
utterance. What Akira constructs using Seijis doo yuu (what kind of ) here is the
i,i Makoto Hayashi
clause doo yuu kekka ga deru ka (what kind of result will come about),
which is
designed to be grammatically connected to wakannai yo (((you)) never know) in
Seijis earlier utterance. To be more specifc, the co-constructed clause is built as a
postposed embedded clause for wakannai yo, which serves as the matrix clause, as
shown below:
Matrix clause Embedded clause
[wakannai yo] + [doo yuu kekka ga deru ka]
(((you)) never know) (what kind of result will come about)
We call this embedded clause postposed, because, unlike in English, the canonical
clause order in a complex sentence in Japanese is [embedded clause] + [matrix
clause], as in doo yuu kekka ga deru ka + wakannai yo (((You)) never know what
kind of result will come about). Tus, by co-constructing a postposed embedded
clause for Seijis earlier utterance and providing him with a next-turn slot for an
agreeing response to the completing utterance, Akira preempts the emerging dis-
agreement and attempts a collaborative achievement of agreement.
However, unlike the frst speaker in fragment (9), Seiji does not produce an
agreeing/confrmatory response afer the completing utterance profered by Akira.
Instead, he employs delayed completion (Lerner; 1989), i.e., a practice that speak-
ers use to fnish a discontinued utterance afer an intervening utterance by another
participant. Lerner (1989) notes that delayed completion is used as a device to
disregard another participants intervening utterance and cancel its sequential im-
port. In the present case, while Akiras joint turn construction in line 9 makes rel-
evant Seijis next-turn receipt and next-turn agreement, in particular for a
collaborative achievement of the conversion of disagreement into agreement,
Seijis delayed completion cancels the sequential relevance of his receipt and rein-
stitutes a disagreement import of his earlier utterance. And by doing so, he turns
the table, as it were, and provides Akira with a next-turn receipt slot (line 12).
Note also that Seiji engages in skillful grammatical work to accomplish the
interactional work of disregarding Akiras joint turn construction. As described
above, Akiras joint turn construction contextualizes Seijis doo yuu in line 8 as the
beginning of the postposed embedded clause for wakannai yo in line 6. In his de-
layed completion in lines 1011, however, Seiji recontextualizes doo yuu as the
beginning of a new grammatical unit that is independent of wakannai yo, thereby
simultaneously recontextualizing wakannai yo as being already complete in line 6,
as seen in the following:
Line 6 demo wakannai yo
(But ((you)) never know.)
9. Kentee (test) at the beginning of Akiras utterance in line 9 is replaced by kekka (result).
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i,
Lines 1011 doo yuu kentee o:: suru ka tte yuu koto ni yoru yo na::
(((It)) will depend on what kind of test ((you)) do.)
Tus, Seiji accomplishes the disregarding of Akiras joint turn construction not
simply by delivering another rendition of completion, but by proposing an alter-
native grammatical structure for the resulting utterance.
In this instance, then,
we observed that, while the second speaker uses joint turn construction to attempt
a conversion of an emerging disagreement into a collaboratively achieved agree-
ment, the frst speaker employs delayed completion to decline such collaboration
and reinstitute the disagreement import of his original utterance.
In this subsection, I examined instances in which, in the face of an emerging
dispreferred action, the recipient employs joint turn construction to accomplish a
distinct type of participation, i.e., converting an imminent dispreferred action into
a preferred action in the same domain of activity. It was noted that such a conver-
sion is achieved not unilaterally but collaboratively; thus, when the frst speaker
does not collaborate, as in fragment (10), an attempt to convert a dispreferred ac-
tion into a preferred action through joint turn construction can fail.
4. Concluding remarks
Te goal of this chapter has been to explore the refexive relationship between
grammar and social action. Taking as a point of departure the perspective that
language is essentially a vehicle for participation in everyday communicative ac-
tivities, I examined cases of joint turn construction observed in Japanese conversa-
tions in order to investigate how grammar and action mutually shape one other in
situated language use in real-life settings. I showed, on the one hand, how gram-
mar shapes relevant ways in which participants package their action. As a speak-
ers utterance unfolds, its emerging grammatical structure allows co-participants
to recognize what kind of action the speaker is executing, how it is going to de-
velop, and what range of responsive actions will be relevant next. Co-participants
utilize this projection of the unfolding course of the speakers action as a resource
to shape their own grammatical conduct (i.e., producing an utterance that is ftted
to the grammatical trajectory of the current speakers ongoing utterance) in order
to accomplish activity-relevant participation. Te foregoing analysis also demon-
strated, on the other hand, how grammar emerges as the outcome of action and
10. It is also of interest to note that Seiji incorporates into his delayed completion the word
kentee (test), which was discarded by Akira in his co-participant completion in favor of kekka
(result). Tus, Seijis delayed completion makes visible his rejection of Akiras co-participant
completion not only at the grammatical level, but also at the lexical/semantic level.
i,| Makoto Hayashi
participation. We observed some specifc ways in which the speakers fnely-difer-
entiated participatory stances toward the ongoing activity shapes the details of the
grammatical structuring of the jointly produced utterance. Tus, the examination
of joint turn construction presented in this chapter provided a conspicuous docu-
mentation of how grammar is a resource for, and an outcome of, an interactional
achievement of concerted action by multiple participants. Or, we might go one
step further and argue that [g]rammar is not only a resource for interaction and
not only an outcome of interaction, it is part of the essence of interaction itself
(Scheglof, Ochs & Tompson 1996: 38). I hope that the present chapter has pro-
vided some testimony for this statement.
On a fnal note, I would like to address the issue of what kind of grammar we
are talking about here. Some readers might object to my statement in the preceding
paragraph by saying that it only applies to grammar as instantiated in particular
utterance forms, but not to grammar as generalized knowledge underlying diverse
linguistic activities across situations. I acknowledge that grammar involves situa-
tion-transcending aspects of linguistic routines that exist as tacit knowledge allow-
ing speakers and hearers to engage in communicative activities across many difer-
ent contexts (Linell 2005) and I concede that the present study does not (directly)
deal with that aspect of grammar. I would argue, however, that such an objection is
based on the view that grammar as generalized knowledge is clearly delineated and
completely severed from grammar as instantiated in situated local contexts. Te
point being made here is that situation-transcending, generalized knowledge can
only come about as a result of accumulation and sedimentation of our everyday
experience of language use in situated communicative activities. If this is true, then
the only way we can gain analytic access to how grammar as situation-transcending
knowledge is confgured and reconfgured is to pay serious attention to grammar
as instantiated on situated local occasions of talk-in-interaction.
5. Appendix
5.1 Transcript symbols
[ Te point where overlapping talk starts
] Te point where overlapping talk ends
(0.0) length of silence in tenths of a second
(.) micro-pause
underlining relatively high pitch
CAPS relatively high volume
:: lengthened syllable
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i,,
- glottal stop self-editing marker
= latched utterances
?/./, rising/falling/continuing intonation respectively
! animated tone, not necessarily an exclamation
( ) unintelligible stretch
(word) transcribers unsure hearings
(( )) transcribers descriptions of events -- e.g., ((snif))
hh audible outbreath
.hh audible inbreath
(hh) laughter within a word
> < increase in tempo, as in a rush-through
a passage of talk quieter than the surrounding talk
bolding section of note, highlighted by transcriber
5.2 Abbreviations used in the interlinear gloss
CP various forms of copula verb be O object particle
EMP emphasis marker Q question particle
FP fnal particle QT quotative particle
LK linking particle SP subject particle
MIM mimetics TL title marker
N nominalizer TP topic particle
5.3 Double parentheses in the translation lines
Elements in double parentheses in the translation lines indicate those elements
that are not expressed in the Japanese original but are supplied by the author for
the readers ease of understanding.
Antaki, Charles, Daz, Flix & Collins, Alan F. 1996. Keeping your footing: Conversational com-
pletion in three-part sequences. Journal of Pragmatics 25: 151171. DOI: 10.1016/0378-
Atkinson, J. Maxwell & Drew, Paul. 1979. Order in Court. London: Macmillan.
Austin, John L. 1962. How to Do Tings with Words. Oxford: OUP.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. Outline of a Teory of Practice. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/
Cook, Haruko Minegishi. 1990. An indexical account of the Japanese sentence-fnal particle no.
Discourse Processes 13: 410439. DOI: 10.1080/01638539009544768
i,o Makoto Hayashi
Cook, Haruko Minegishi. 1992. Meanings of non-referential indexes: A case study of the
Japanese sentence-fnal particle ne. Text 12: 587539. DOI: 10.1515/text.1.1992.12.4.507
Davidson, Judy. 1984. Subsequent versions of invitations, ofers, requests, and proposals dealing
with potential or actual rejection. In Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation
Analysis, J. Maxwell Atkinson & John Heritage (eds), 102128. Cambridge: CUP.
Garfnkel, Harold. 1967. Studies in Ethnomethodology. Englewood Clifs NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Giddens, Anthony. 1979. Central Problems in Social Teory: Action, Structure, and Contradiction
in Social Analysis. Berkeley CA: University of California Press.
Giddens, Anthony. 1984. Te Constitution of Society: Outline of the Teory of Structuration.
Berkeley CA: University of California Press.
Gofman, Erving. 1981a. Forms of Talk. Philadelphia PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Gofman, Erving. 1981b. Footing. In Forms of Talk, Erving Gofman, 124159. Philadelphia PA:
University of Pennsylvania Press.
Goodwin, Charles. 1981. Conversational Organization: Interaction between Speakers and Hear-
ers. New York NY: Academic Press.
Goodwin, Charles. 1984. Notes on story structure and the organization of participation. In
Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Analysis, J. Maxwell Atkinson & John
Heritage (eds), 225246. Cambridge: CUP.
Goodwin, Charles & Goodwin, Marjorie Harness. 1987. Concurrent operations on talk: Notes
on the interactive organization of assessments. IPrA Papers in Pragmatics 1: 154.
Goodwin, Charles & Goodwin, Marjorie Harness. 1992a. Context, activity and participation. In
Te Contextualization of Language [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 22], Peter Auer &
Aldo Di Luzio (eds.), 7799. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Goodwin, Charles & Goodwin, Marjorie Harness. 1992b. Assessments and the construction of
context. In Rethinking Context: Language as an Interactive Phenomenon, Alessandro Duranti
& Charles Goodwin (eds), 151189. Cambridge: CUP.
Goodwin, Marjorie Harness. 1990. He-Said-She-Said: Talk as Social Organization among Black
Children. Bloomington IN: Indiana University Press.
Gumperz, John J. 1982. Discourse Strategies. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/
Haga, Yasushi. 1954. Chinjutsu to wa nanimono? (What is chinjutsu?) Kokugo-kokubun 23(4):
Hayashi, Makoto. 2003. Joint Utterance Construction in Japanese Conversation [Studies in Dis-
course and Grammar 12]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/sidag.12
Hayashi, Makoto & Mori, Junko. 1998. Co-construction in Japanese revisited: We do fnish each
others sentences. In Japanese/Korean Linguistics, Vol. 7, Noriko Akatsuka, Hajime Hoji,
Shoichi Iwasaki & Susan Strauss (eds), 7793. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Heritage, John. 1984. Garfnkel and Ethnomethodology. Cambridge: Polity.
Hopper, Paul J. 1988. Emergent grammar and the a priori grammar postulate. In Linguistics in
Context: Connecting Observations and Understanding, Deborah Tannen (ed.), 117134.
Norwood NJ: Ablex.
Hopper, Paul J. 1987. Emergent grammar. Berkeley Linguistics Society 13: 139157.
Hopper, Paul J. 1998. Emergent grammar. In Te New Psychology of Language: Cognitive and
Functional Approaches to Language Structure, Michael Tomasello (ed.), 155175. Mahwah
NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Activity, participation, and joint turn construction i,
Hymes, Dell. 1972. Models of the interaction of language and social life. In Directions in Socio-
linguistics: Te Ethnography of Communication, John J. Gumperz & Dell Hymes (eds), 35
71. New York NY: Holt, Reinhart & Winston.
Iwasaki, Shoichi. 1993a. Subjectivity in Grammar and Discourse: Teoretical Considerations and
a Case Study of Japanese Spoken Discourse [Studies in Discourse and Grammar 2]. Amster-
dam: John Benjamins.
Iwasaki, Shoichi. 1993b. Te structure of the intonation unit in Japanese. In Japanese/Korean
Linguistics, Vol. 3, Soonja Choi (ed.), 3953. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Jeferson, Gail. 1987. On exposed and embedded correction in conversation. In Talk and Social
Organisation, Graham Button & John R. E. Lee, 8699. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Kamio, Akio. 1994. Te theory of territory of information: Te case of Japanese. Journal of Prag-
matics 21: 67100. DOI: 10.1016/0378-2166(94)90047-7
Kamio, Akio. 1997. Territory of Information [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 48]. Amsterdam:
John Benjamins. DOI: 10.1075/pbns.48
Labov, William & Fanshell, David. 1977. Terapeutic Discourse: Psychotherapy as Conversation.
New York NY: Academic Press.
Lave, Jean & Wenger, Etienne. 1991. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation.
Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511815355
Lerner, Gene H. 1987. Collaborative Turn Sequences: Sentence Construction and Social Action.
PhD dissertation, University of California, Irvine.
Lerner, Gene H. 1989. Notes on overlap management in conversation: Te case of delayed
completion. Western Journal of Speech Communication 53: 167177. DOI: 10.1080/105703
Lerner, Gene H. 1991. On the syntax of sentences in progress. Language In Society 20, 441458.
Lerner, Gene H. 1992. Assisted storytelling: Deploying shared knowledge as a practical matter.
Qualitative Sociology 15: 247271. DOI: 10.1007/BF00990328
Lerner, Gene H. 1996. Finding face in the preference structures of talk-in-interaction. Social
Psychology Quarterly 59: 303321. DOI: 10.2307/2787073
Lerner, Gene H. & Takagi, Tomoyo. 1999. On the place of linguistic resources in the organiza-
tion of talk-in-interaction: A co-investigation of English and Japanese grammatical prac-
tices. Journal of Pragmatics 31: 4975. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-2166(98)00051-4
Levinson, Stephen C. 1979. Activity types and language. Linguistics 17: 365399. DOI: 10.1515/
Linell, Per. 1982. Te Written Language Bias in Linguistics. Linkping: University of Linkping,
Department of Communication.
Linell, Per. 2005. Te Written Language Bias in Linguistics: Its Nature, Origins, and Transforma-
tions. London: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9780203342763
Malinowski, Bronislaw. [1935]1978. Coral Gardens and Teir Magic, 2 Vols. London: Allan &
Maynard, Senko K. 1993. Discourse Modality: Subjectivity, Emotion and Voice in the Japanese
Language [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 24]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI:
Mori, Junko. 1999. Negotiating Agreement and Disagreement in Japanese: Connective Expressions
and Turn Construction [Studies in Discourse and Grammar 8]. Amsterdam: John Benja-
mins. DOI: 10.1075/sidag.8
i,8 Makoto Hayashi
Morita, Emi. 2002. Stance marking in the collaborative completion of sentences: Final particles
as epistemic markers in Japanese. In Japanese/Korean Linguistics,Vol.10, Noriko Akatsuka,
Susan Strauss & Bernard Comrie. Stanford CA: CSLI.
Phillips, Susan U. 1972. Participant structures and communicative competence: Warm Springs
children in community and classroom. In Functions of Language in the Classroom, Court-
ney B. Cazden, Vera P. John and Dell Hymes (eds), 370394. New York NY: Columbia
Teachers Press.
Pomerantz, Anita. 1978. Compliment responses: Notes on the co-operation of multiple con-
straints. In Studies in the Organization of Conversational Interaction, Jim Schenkein (ed.),
79112. New York NY: Academic Press.
Pomerantz, Anita. 1980. Telling my side: Limited access as a fshing device. Sociological In-
quiry 50: 186198. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-682X.1980.tb00020.x
Pomerantz, Anita. 1984a. Agreeing and disagreeing with assessments: Some features of pre-
ferred/dispreferred turn shapes. In Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conversation Anal-
ysis, J. Maxell Atkinson & John Heritage (eds), 57101. Cambridge: CUP.
Pomerantz, Anita. 1984b. Pursuing a response. In Structures of Social Action: Studies in Conver-
sation Analysis, J. Maxwell Atkinson & John Heritage (eds), 152163. Cambridge: CUP.
Sacks, Harvey. 1974. An analysis of the course of a jokes telling in conversation. In Explorations
in the Ethnography of Speaking, Richard Bauman & Joel Sherzer (eds), 337353. Cambridge:
Sacks, Harvey. [1973]1987. On the preferences for agreement and contiguity in sequences in
conversation. In Talk and Social Organisation, Graham Button & John R.E. Lee, 5469.
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Sacks, Harvey. 1992. Lectures on Conversation, 2 Vols., Gail Jeferson (ed.), with introductions
by Emanuel A. Scheglof. Oxford: Blackwell.
Schelgof, Emanuel A., Ochs, Elinor & Tompson, Sandra A. 1996. Introduction. In Interaction
and Grammar, Elinor Ochs, Emanuel A. Scheglof & Sandra A. Tompson (eds.), 151.
Cambridge: CUP.
Scheglof, Emanuel A., Jeferson, Gail & Sacks, Harvey. 1977. Te preference for self-correction
in the organization of repair in conversation. Language 53: 361382.
Schutz, Alfred. 1962. Collected Papers, Vol. 1. Te Hague: Martinus Nijhof.
Searle, John. 1969. Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: CUP. DOI:
Tanaka, Hiroko. 1999. Turn-taking in Japanese Conversation: A Study in Grammar and Interac-
tion. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Uyeno, Tazuko. 1971. A Study of Japanese Modality: A Performative Analysis of Sentence Par-
ticles. PhD dissertation. University of Michigan.
Vygotsky, Lev S. 1978. Mind in Society: Te Development of Higher Psychological Processes.
Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Watanabe, Minoru. 1953. Jojutsu to chinjutsu - jutsugo-bunsetsu no koozoo (Describing and
stating: Te structure of predicative clauses). Kokugogaku 1314.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig. 1953. Philosophical Investigations. Oxford: Blackwell.
Zimmerman, Don H. & Boden, Deirdre. 1991. Structure-in-action: An introduction. In Talk
and Social Structure: Studies in Ethnomethodology and Conversation Analysis, Deirdre
Boden & Don Zimmerman (eds), 320. Berkeley CA: University of California Press.
part 3
Language change and variation
Context in constructions
Variation in Japanese non-subject honorifcs*
Yoshiko Matsumoto
Tis paper illustrates the importance of context for grammar by examining
discourse data of the nonsubject honorifc construction o Verb (stem)
suru. Building upon previous studies that argued that non-subject honorifcs
are subject to a pragmatic condition of beneft transfer between the subject
and nonsubject referents, I argue that the targeted referents of nonsubject
honorifcation are reorganized to the two participants of the discourse: the
speaker and the addressee. Te variations in the o-Verb (stem) suru form are
explained from the constructional and frame semantics perspectives as a process
of cognitive and intersubjective (e.g., Traugott and Dasher 2002) reorganization
of grammatical constructions motivated by contextual conditions of use and the
speakers intention with respect to the addressee.
1. Introduction
Te integration of context in grammatical description is crucial to linguistic
theories that consider language as part of human behavior. However, the same
linguistic phenomena may be viewed quite diferently depending on the goals and
interests of researchers, and what is considered crucial support for a certain
* I am grateful to those who gave me comments at various occasions when parts or a version
of this paper was presented, especially the participants of the Symposium on Functional
Approaches to Japanese Grammar: Toward the Understanding of Human Languages, at the Uni-
versity of Alberta in 2004 where implications of the symposium papers on the claims made by
Newmeyer (2003) were discussed. Tanks are also due to the audience at the International Cog-
nitive Linguistics Conference (2001), where an earlier analysis of the uses of the o-V-suru con-
struction, later published in Matsumoto (2008), was frst presented. I am also indebted to
Elizabeth Traugott for her invaluable discussion. Matsumoto (2008) focuses on cognitive reorga-
nization from the point of view of intersubjectivity, which can be described within the framework
of Construction Grammar. Te basic analysis of the construction is presented here as an example
in support of the theoretical approach of the present volume. My sincere gratitude goes to Kaori
Kabata and Tsuyoshi Ono, the organizers of the symposium and the editors of this volume.
ioi Yoshiko Matsumoto
theoretical view may not be considered important for others. For example,
Newmeyers paper Grammar is grammar and usage is usage(2003) is illustrative
of this theoretical variability by bringing our attention back to a longstanding split
among linguists on the question regarding whether or not the speakers knowledge
of grammar is fundamentally separate from ones knowledge of the real world and
of uses of linguistic constructions in context. While this position is not shared in
all strands of formal or generative theories, research of the same theoretical per-
suasion as Newmeyers would maintain the autonomy of syntax or grammar, in
that the grammar is never fundamentally afected by the contexts in which the
language is used. In such a view pragmatic and real-world knowledge of the inter-
locutors would not be central to grammar even where such knowledge is recog-
nized to be crucial to the construal of linguistic constructions, to the process of
grammaticalization and intersubjectivifcation as well as to constructions that are
sensitive to information status. As the examination of various constructions such
as in Laury and Ono (2005) shows, the dismissive position regarding usage and
context would exclude from grammar phenomena that have traditionally been
areas of substantial interest within linguistics.
Constructions in Japanese in which pragmatic and world knowledge play a
crucial role in grammatical description are well exemplifed by those that have
spatial, temporal or social deictic expressions (including honorifcs), construc-
tions expressing sensations, and also by such seemingly less subjective constructions
as the noun-modifying construction. Japanese noun-modifying constructions,
i.e., complex noun phrases including what are traditionally categorized as relative
clause constructions, present a good example of such phenomena (Matsumoto
1997a, inter alia). In these constructions, there is no explicit marking of the gram-
matical relationship between the head noun and the predicate, yet semantic and
pragmatic compatibility of the constituents determine the meaning and the ac-
ceptability of the specifc construction. Tus, for example, the noun-modifying
construction [[toire ni ikenai]komaasyaru] [[bathroom GOAL go.cannot] com-
mercial]; commercials (because of which) (x) cannot go to the bathroom in the
attested utterance konogoro [[toire ni ikenai]komaasyaru] ga ookute komaru (I
am) in trouble because there are many commercials (because of wanting to watch
which) (I) cannot go to the bathroom is a grammatical Japanese phrase that is
readily construable to competent Japanese speakers who are cognizant of life in
Japan. Tere are various factors that support this construability. Tere is shared
real-world knowledge of what people usually do during TV commercials, e.g. go-
ing to the bathroom. Tere is semantic and pragmatic knowledge that the negative
state of afairs expressed in the subordinate clause (i.e. the inability to go to the
bathroom) would be compatible with an idea that there was a condition that
caused such state. One can also conjecture that the increased number of interesting
Context in constructions io
commercials could cause inconvenience to the TV viewers who use commercial
breaks as bathroom breaks. Te construal of this noun phrase is not based on the
syntactically most likely analysis, in which the head noun, commercial, is under-
stood to be the subject referent of the one-place predicate, i.e. what cannot go to
the bathroom. Unlike Chomskys well-known semantically anomalous but syntac-
tically well-formed sentence, Colorless green idea sleeps furiously, the syntax of
Japanese noun-modifying constructions does not force a reading which may then
be judged as semantically or pragmatically anomalous reading unless its usage is
contextually supported. In other words, unlike what is arguably the case in English,
pragmatics, just as much as syntax, is at the basis of Japanese grammar, and a
purely syntactic analysis devoid of pragmatic and contextual considerations does
not give an accurate acceptability judgment of such constructions.
Te Japanese non-subject honorifc construction in the form o-Verb(stem)-
suru, presents another instance in which context plays a crucial role in providing
a systematic understanding of its structure, as well as of the variation and change
in use. If the notion of the grammar of a language is to be confned exclusively to
the abstraction of general ways in which words are strung together, conditions that
motivate innovative (i.e., normatively unacceptable) usages may well be outside of
the scope of investigation, as suggested by Newmeyer that grammars are not frag-
ile, fuid and temporary as he suspects that we could carry on a conversation
with Shakespeare, who lived four hundred years ago. And the problems we would
have with him would more likely be lexical and low-level phonological rather than
syntactic (Newmeyer 2003: 698). Te changes that I will examine here would in-
volve ungrammaticality based not on the wrong shape of words and sentences
nor on any anomaly at the lexical or phonological level, but based on choices of
subject and nonsubject referents. Te phenomenon might be considered as a col-
lection of performance errors, but as I will discuss below, they can be explained
systematically if we take the context into serious consideration.
It may not be completely clear, however, what contextual factors are relevant
and how they can be represented in grammatical constructions. In this paper, I
will focus on uses of the Japanese non-subject honorifc construction in the form
o-Verb(stem)-suru to illustrate that the two types of frames proposed by Fill-
more in his theory of Frame Semantics (e.g., 1975, 1982) are crucial in incorporat-
ing relevant contextual information into a grammatical construction. Te two
frames are: (1) what may be called a cognitive frame, which is evoked by lexical
meanings and which contains cognitively profled roles/elements; for example, a
larger context evoked by verbs such as buy, sell, and cost, i.e., the commercial
event frame, which includes roles such as seller, buyer, goods, money, and (2)
an interactional frame, which represents the conceptualization of the discourse
situation between the speaker and the addressee: from knowledge of deictic
io| Yoshiko Matsumoto
categories to knowledge of discourse genres, such as a folktale, and an obituary
(see also Tannen 1979; Matsumoto 1997b).
Fillmores notion of frame has various aspects and has been further developed,
but the following quote provides a general sense of the concept.
By the term frame I have in mind any system of concepts related in such a way
that to understand any one of them you have to understand the whole structure in
which it fts; when one of the things in such a structure is introduced into a text, or
into a conversation, all of the other are automatically made available. I intend the
word frame as used here to be a general cover term for the set of concepts various-
ly known, in the literature on natural language understanding, as schema, script,
scenario, ideational scafolding, cognitive model, or folk theory. (1982: 111)
In this approach to semantics, the frst type of frame, the cognitive frame, has
received more focus in research, but I will show that the two types of frames are
both crucial part of grammar.
In the construction of the honorifc prefx o, a verb stem and the light verb
suru, meaning do, the verb form conventionally indicates that a non-subject refer-
ent, such as the direct object referent, is honorifed, or is the target of the speak-
ers respect, while the subject referent is abased. Recently, however, numerous uses
of the o-Verb-suru form that deviate from this conventional description have been
attested. In those uses, the target of respect is not denoted by a non-subject and the
referent of the subject is not abased. Te target of respect is usually the addressee,
who may be referred to by the subject. For such uses, it is not at all accurate to refer
to the o-Verb(stem)-suru form as a non-subject honorifc.
Crucial to discovering a system in these seemingly deviant variations is to in-
corporate the context into the analytical framework of the construction. I argue
that when we incorporate speech contexts into our analysis, the variations in the
o-Verb (stem) suru form can be systematically explained from the constructional
and frame semantics perspectives, rather than being merely exceptional or irregu-
lar instances of the construction. In a previous study of non-subject honorifcs
(Matsumoto 1997b), I showed that such forms are normally subject to a pragmatic
condition of beneft transfer between the two main participants of the event, name-
ly, the subject and nonsubject referents expressed or implied in the propositional
content of the construction. I have also noted that speakers tend to present their
actions as benefting the addressee (see also Tsujimura 1992). Building upon these
fndings, I have described how the targeted referents of nonsubject honorifcation
are reorganized from the two relevant participants in the proposition to the two
participants of the discourse; namely, the speaker and the addressee (Matsumoto
2008). Tis suggests that the nonsubject honorifc construction in Japanese is un-
dergoing a systematic (and to a certain extent predictable) change and is acquiring
an addressee honorifc use in addition to being a propositional referent honorifc.
Context in constructions io,
In terms of frames, the combination of cognitive frames and interactional
frames plays a crucial role. Examining attested discourse instances of the o-Verb
(stem) suru form, I will illustrate that the recent variations are refections of in-
tersubjective (e.g., Traugott & Dasher 2002) reorganization of the cognitive frame
of the grammatical construction motivated by elements of the interactional
frame, i.e., speech context and the speakers intention with respect to the address-
ee. Te advantage of using both types of frames to describe the o-Verb-suru con-
struction is the capability of illustrating the relation between the contextual par-
ticipants and the event participants, and how these two interact. Notions available
in Frame Semantics and Construction Grammar well accommodate a systematic
account of contextually dependent constructions, such as honorifcs, including
their variations and change.
In the following, I will discuss the uses of o-Verb(stem)-suru form of non-
subject honorifcs more in detail, following the lines of arguments presented in
Matsumoto (2008).
2. Background of non-subject honorifcs
Honorifc forms of Japanese predicates, afer Haradas generative analysis (1975),
have generally been classifed into propositional honorifcs and performative hon-
orifcs, otherwise known as referent honorifcs and addressee honorifcs, respec-
Te use of referent honorifcs is licensed by the speakers relation to the
referents of the subject and/or non-subject of the sentence, or the relation between
the referents of the subject and some non-subject of the sentence; while the use of
addressee honorifcs depends on the context of speech, notably on the speakers
relation to the addressee. Referent honorifcs are further subcategorized into sub-
ject honorifcs and nonsubject honorifcs depending on whether the triggering
referent is expressed as the subject or a nonsubject of the sentence.
Tese structural
1. Tere have also been numerous studies treating the system and the history of Japanese
honorifcs in the frameworks of traditional Japanese grammar and ethnomethodology (e.g.,
Yamada 1924; Tokieda 1941; Tsujimura 1967, 1968; Hayashi & Minami 197374; Kokuritsu
Kokugo Kenkyujo (Te National Language Research Institute) 1957, to name a few).
2. Harada classifed honorifc forms into subject honorifcs (SH), object honorifcs (OH) and
performative honorifcs (PH). I adopt the terminology nonsubject honorifcs, following Kuno
(1987), instead of Haradas object honorifcs, since the target NP of such construction need not
be limited to a direct or indirect object. (For criticisms for Haradas account, see also, e.g.,
Kikuchi 1980; Kuno 1983; Martin 1975; McCawley 1993.) Kuno, however, doesnt explain which
referent among the many possible semantic and grammatical roles can license a specifc nonsub-
ject honorifc construction.
ioo Yoshiko Matsumoto
classifcations are not free of problems, but they highlight the two major types of
honorifc constructions (referent honorifcs and addressee honorifcs), which can
be used independently or in combination, i.e. a predicate may exhibit referent
honorifcs only, addressee honorifcs only, neither, or both.
Te focus of this paper is one of the referent honorifc forms, the nonsubject
honorifc construction, which is in the general form o-Verb (stem)-suru (Honor-
ifc Prefx Verb (stem) -do). Tis is one of the forms for which variations and
changes in use have been most commonly noted in newspaper articles and in pop-
ular books on the correct use of honorifcs. In the conventional use of this con-
struction, for example in (1), the teacher, the object referent of the honorifc verb
o-tasuke-sita helped (NSH: Non-Subject Honorifc), is elevated while the subject
referent, Abe-san, is humbled. (2) is a similar non-honorifc sentence, given as a
contrast. In (2), neither the subject nor object referent is elevated or downgraded.
(1) Abe-san ga sensei o o-tasuke-sita.
Mr. Abe nom teacher acc hp-help-did
Mr. Abe helped (Non-Subject Honorifc: NSH) the teacher.
(2) Abe-san ga Oda-san o tasuketa.
Mr. Abe nom Mr. Oda acc helped
Mr. Abe helped Mr. Oda.
Examples that do not ft into the conventional uses are given in (3) and (4). (3) was
announced by a pilot on an international fight (Matsumoto 1997b).
(3) ato go-zikan hodo de hizuke-henkoo-sen o
more 5-hours about in international dateline acc
(We) will meet (NSH) the international dateline in about 5 hours.
Te part in bold face, o-mukae-itasi- is an example of a nonsubject honorifc form
in which -itasi- is the stem of itasu, a humble form of the verb suru do, and the
underlined masu is an addressee honorifc. From the conventional description of
nonsubject honorifcs, the sentence would be anomalous because the object
of mukae- meet/reach -- i.e., theinternational dateline -- can hardly be the target
of honorifcation. Te only apparent potential target of honorifc use in this dis-
course context is the addressees, i.e. the passengers on the airplane, (for whom the
addressee honorifc masu is used as shown in the example,) but they are not a
participant in the described event.
Another, perhaps more striking example is given in (4).
Context in constructions io
(4) [a delivery service clerk to a customer]
..soo site-itadaku to o-mati-suru o-zikan mo arimasen kara...
so do-receive.hum if hp-wait-do hp-time also not.exist.ah so
...if you could do so, there would be no time for you (= you dont need) to
wait (NSH) (for us), so...
Tis example was uttered by a delivery/pick-up service clerk on the phone to his
customer who wanted her out-going package to be picked within a short window
of time. Te service clerk was recommending that the customer should pack the
items using her own box and fll in forms before the clerk arrived, so that she
would not have to wait for him to make a package. In this specifc context, the ut-
terance is interpreted in the way in which the subject referent of the o-Verb(stem)-
suru construction o-mati-suru is the customer, whereas the nonsubject referent is
the speaker. Tis use is deviant from the normative perspective since the speaker,
the referent of a nonsubject, is raised, while the subject referent, the customer, is
Variants such as (3) and (4), which are attested in spoken and written discourse,
as we see in more examples below, suggest that the nonsubject honorifc construc-
tion in Japanese is undergoing a change in usage and is gradually becoming an
addressee/performative honorifc. In a frame of a polite discourse, the targeted ref-
erents of the nonsubject honorifc construction o-Verb(stem)-suru are re-organized
from referents of the subject and the nonsubject in the described event to the two
participants of the discourse, the speaker and the addressee. Tis type of mapping
between the domain of the sentence describing an event and the speech context has
also provided a systematic explanation to other linguistic phenomena such as
speech act causality argued by Sweetser (1990), and speech act qualifcation in
English and Japanese (Lakof 1980; Matsumoto 1985, 2001), and indeed, a similar
drif in usage from referent to addressee honorifcs has been observed in other
Japanese honorifc constructions, such as -masu. (Dasher 1995; Traugott & Dasher
2002). In the following, I will illustrate three main uses of the o-Verb(stem)-suru
construction and demonstrate the importance of context in grammar with refer-
ence to ideas in Frame Semantics and Construction Grammar.
3. O-Verb(stem)-suru construction: Use 1 Nonsubject honorifcs
In a reexamination of the o-Verb(stem)-suru construction elsewhere (Matsumoto
1997b), I found several noteworthy properties. One is that, in the conventional use
of the o-Verb(stem)-suru form, there is an implied relationship of beneft between
the two (typically, human) participants, in which the exalted nonsubject referent is
io8 Yoshiko Matsumoto
either the benefciary or the source of beneft, depending on the predicate and on
the context. Te determination of which non-subject referent may license nonsub-
ject honorifcs depends, therefore, not only on the speakers decision to elevate one
of the nonsubject referents but also on the consonance of the action or state that is
described in the sentence with a pragmatic notion of benefactivity involving such
nonsubject referent.
Te importance of benefactive relationship between the subject referent and
the honorifc target of the nonsubject referent is illustrated by the contrasts in the
(a) and (b) sentences of examples (5) and (6).
(5) a. Abe-san ga sensei o o-tasuke-sita.
Mr. Abe nom teacher acc hp-help-did
Mr Abe helped (Non-Subject Honorifc: NSH) the teacher.
b.# Abe-san ga sensei o o-korosi-sita.
Mr. Abe nom teacher acc hp-kill-did
Mr Abe killed (Non-Subject Honorifc: NSH) the teacher.
(6) a. Abe-san ga sensei kara hon o o-kari-sita.
Mr. Abe nom teacher dat book acc hp-borrow-did
Mr Abe borrowed (Non-Subject Honorifc: NSH) a book from the
b.# Abe-san ga sensei kara hon o o-nusumi-sita.
Mr. Abe nom teacher dat book acc hp-steal-did
Mr Abe stole (Non-Subject Honorifc: NSH) a book from the teacher.
Te frst of each pair, i.e., (5a) and (6a), contains a verb that is semantically bene-
factive, whereas verbs in the second of the pair, i.e., (5b) and (6b), denote counter-
benefactive actions.
Example (5b) and (6b) with counter-benefactive expressions are normally not
acceptable without a special context. Tis unacceptability or the rarity of use is
also borne out in an Internet search, which did not yield such an instance, al-
though this does not mean that sentences with o-korosi-suru are absolutely impos-
sible. A similar Internet search readily fnds examples with verbs of benefactive
actions such as (7) and (8).

(7) [excerpts from a monthly magazine Seiron]
Bannen Sonbun o o-tasuke-siteita koto kara mo,
later years Sun Wen acc hp-help-did.prog fact from also
3. In contrast, there are many sentences with o-tasuke-suru and o-kari-suru. Te web search of
o-tasuke-simasu (HP-help-do.AH), for example, yielded 3,330 cases.
Context in constructions io
tyuugoku to no kankei o omonjiteita koto ga
China with gen relationship acc was valuing fact nom
Te fact that [my grandfather] was valuing the relationship with China
could also be seen from the fact that (he) was helping (NSH) Sun Wei in
his later years.
(8) [web page description]
HP yoo sozai o o-kari-siteimasu.
home page use materials acc hp-borrow-do.prog.ah
(We) have borrowed (NSH) materials for home pages.
In examples (1), (3)(5) and (7) the target of honorifcation, a nonsubject, is a core
argument of the main verb expressed as the direct object. It is worth noting, how-
ever, that the nonsubject target can be a non-argument as illustrated in (6a) and
(8), and perhaps more clearly in (9), which is an example from a web page dedi-
cated, according to the writer, to beginners of aromatherapy. Te target of the
honorifcation in (9) is an implicit nonargument referent, namely, the neophyte
(9) [web page for aromatherapy novices]
... aroma terapii no kihontekina koto o
aromatherapy gen basic thing acc
o-kaki-sinakereba toyuu simeikan ni karare, ...
hp-write-do.neg.cond comp mission.sense by be.driven
being driven by the sense of mission that (I) should write (NSH) the ba-
sics of aromatherapy...
Tese examples show that, regardless of the grammatical role that the target non-
subject takes, an elevated referent is understood to be in a beneft transfer relation
with the subject referent in the o-Verb(stem)-suru construction.
4. O-V(stem)-suru construction: Direction toward performative honorifcs
4.1 Use 2: Subject referent Speaker; non-subject referent addressee
In (9), the aromatherapy novices, who are the target of honorifcation, are also the
readers (addressees) of the web page, and the recipients of the beneft of the writ-
ing. In other words, the humbled subject referent is the writer and the target of the
beneft transfer and of honorifcation is the addressee. Tis is well-motivated since
io Yoshiko Matsumoto
the most important and inescapable relation in a speech context is that of the
speaker with the addressee.
Tere are numerous instances in which this condition holds. (10) and (11)
are attested examples in which the referent of the indirect object is the addressee
and the subject referent is the speaker. Researchers such as Dasher (1995) con-
sider the examples of this kind to be prototypical cases of the nonsubject honor-
ifc expressions.
(10) anoo, tyotto o-tazune-simasu ga...
um a little hp-ask-do.ah but
(lit.) um, (I) have a question to ask (NSH) (you), ... [at a department
(11) zyaa atode ronbun o-okuri-simasu
then later academic article hp-send-do.ah
(I) will send (NSH) (you) (my) article later, then. [afer a colloquium]
Example (12) is cited by Tsujimura (1992: 478) as an utterance by a cooking in-
structor in a TV program. Te semantic goal of pouring is the dish that the
instructor (i.e., the speaker) is cooking, which would not be a usual trigger for
honorifcs. Tsujimura explains that the speaker used the form to imply the pouring
of soy sauce is done for the beneft of the addressees, the TV viewers. It is doubtful
whether the naturalness of speech would be maintained if the viewers were ex-
pressed as a nonsubject in the sentence (i.e., to say Im pouring in a little soy sauce
for you in this context is unnatural), but such intention of beneft is implicit in the
nature of the program in which the cooking demonstration is done for the beneft
of the viewers and the speech context is normally intended to be refned and po-
lite. Similarly in (13), an example from a web page, the prospective vacationers at
the National Park Resort Villages will beneft from the link and are the target of the
honorifcation, although they are the nonargument referents, not explicitly men-
tioned in the sentence.
(12) [cooking instructor in a TV cooking program; cited in Tsuji-mura 1992]
o -syooyu o syoosyoo o-ire-itasimasu.
hp-soy sauce acc a little hp-pour in-do.hum.ah
(I) pour in (NSH) a little soy sauce (to something that is being cooked).
(13) [description of a web link to the Association of National Park Resort
Nihon no kyuuka o o-tasuke-simasu.
Japan gen vacation acc hp-help-do.ah
(Te Association of National Park Resort Villages) will help (NSH)
Japanese vacation.
Context in constructions i:
(14) [pilot on an international fight] (same as (3))
ato go-zikan hodo de hizuke-henkoo-sen o
more 5-hours about in international dateline acc
hp-meet -do.hum.ah
(We) will reach (NSH) the international dateline in about 5 hours..
Te sentence in (14), which was given as (3) earlier, was an announcement made
by the captain of an international fight. Under the analysis of the conventional use
of the o-Verb(stem)-suru construction given in the last section, it should be unac-
ceptable, since the only explicit nonsubject referent, the international dateline, is
an unlikely target of beneft transfer and therefore of honorifcation. Te only po-
tential target of the honorifcation in the given context is the passengers, but their
involvement to the described event, i.e. meeting the international dateline, is min-
imal and therefore the beneft of such event to them is less evident than in the
other two examples. For this reason, the sentence probably strikes normative users
of the construction as even odder than the other two examples. However, it is clear
in these examples that the speaker is being humbled and the addressee (or the
reader) is elevated through the use of the o-Verb(stem)-suru construction in the
speech context, where the speaker wishes to be polite and to imply some sort of
beneft relation with the addressee. Tis observation leads us to the third and cur-
rently controversial use of the construction.
4.2 Use 3: Addressee honorifc use (Subject Referent Addressee)
In the controversial, but increasingly attested, uses, the subject referent is the ad-
dressee. Tat is, the addressee, the intended target of honorifcation appears in the
subject position, and the term nonsubject honorifcation is no longer descriptive.
Examples such as (15) (20) could easily be regarded simply as deviations from the
normative point of view. On the other hand, similar usage was also observed by
Hudson (1999), who pointed out the fact that o-Verb(stem)-suru forms are some-
times used as hyper-polite forms, and by the report of the Council of the National
Language (Bunka Cho (Bureau of Culture)1996), which noted that more than 40%
of respondents in a survey judged examples such as these to be acceptable. Tis ten-
dency is also supported by relatively frequent use (about 40 to over 200 cases de-
pending on the expression) of such variations found on a Internet search in 2003.
(15) [receptionist to a guest]
Kotira de o-mati-site-kudasai.
here loc hp-wait-do-give.imperative.ah
Please wait (NSH) here.
ii Yoshiko Matsumoto
(16) [attendant at a fast food store to a customer; cited in Asahi Newspaper]
O-motikaeri-simasu ka
hp-take out-do.ah question particle
(lit.) Are (you) taking it out (NSH)?/Is this for takeout?
(17) [delivery service clerk to a customer] (=(4))
..soo site-itadaku to o-mati-suru o-zikan mo
so do-receive.hum if hp-wait-do hp-time also
arimasen kara...
not.exist.ah so
...if you could do so, you would not have time to wait (NSH) around,
(18) [waitress to diners at an upscale Japanese restaurant]
Nori o o-nose-site mesiagatte kudasai.
dried.sea.weed acc
Please place (NSH) the dried seaweed on top before you eat (SH) (it).
(19) [college student to an elderly person, prefacing her question about the
interviewees personal background]
..eto, o-kotae-dekiru hani de kamawanai n desu ga...
um hp-answer-do extent fne. with nmlz is.ah but
.. um, its OK if you could answer (NSH) to the extent that you feel com-
(20) [graduate student to a professor, an invited guest speaker at a graduate
OHP o o-tukai-suru n desu ne
ohp acc nmlz is.ah sentence fin. particle
(You) are going to use (NSH) an OHP, arent you?
It is interesting to note that these examples were ofen attested in the context of the
general relation of service provider to client, as in the cases in (15) (18). For in-
stance, in (18), the waitress is explaining to guests at a Japanese restaurant that the
seaweed that was brought on a separate plate was to be put on the dish before eat-
ing. It is clear from the context that the target of honorifcation is not the object
referent, the seaweed. In all examples (15) (20), it still remains true that the o-
Verb(stem)-suru construction is used in the context in which the speaker intends
to be humble and polite to the addressee and the speaker and addressee are engag-
ing in or implying a beneft transfer relation at the occasion of communicating the
4. Te word dekiru can do is the potential form of suru do.
Context in constructions i
described event. In this sense, the pragmatic properties of the o-Verb(stem)-suru
construction are still maintained.
5. Frame semantic representations of the three uses of the O-Verb(stem)-Suru
Te diferences among the three uses of o-Verb(stem)-suru construction are sche-
matically given in the following diagrams. Te inner box represents a cognitive
frame, the event described by the construction focusing on the two participants
who are crucial in the construction, while the outer box represents the frame of
the speech context, an interactional frame. Specifcally, it represents the politeness
context with the two main participating parties, i.e. the speaker and the addressee.
Te frst diagram illustrates the conventional use (Use 1) of o-Verb(stem)-suru
construction as a nonsubject referent honorifc, and the second one shows the
middle stage (Use 2), so-to-speak, at which the subject referent of the described
event is identifed with the speaker and the addressee is identifed with the ex-
plicit or implied target of beneft transfer in the event. Use 2 can be seen as a spe-
cial case of Use 1. In the third diagram (Use 3), however, the identifcation between
the speaker and the subject referent, and between the nonsubject referent and the
addressee is not maintained, and the beneft transfer relation is relevant only be-
tween the speaker and the addressee, the two prominent participants of the speech
context rather than of the described event. Terefore, this diagram represents what
is in efect a performative or addressee honorifc construction. Although these
three uses are concurrently found at present, the third use has begun to be noticed
most recently among the three, and is treated in how-to books as one of the com-
mon mistakes of honorifc uses.
Use 1
Subj Ref Non-Subj Ref Speaker Addressee
Politeness speech context
Benefit transfer
i| Yoshiko Matsumoto
Use 2
Subj Ref Non-Subj Ref Speaker Addressee
Politeness speech context
Benefit transfer
Use 3
Subj Ref Non-Subj Ref Speaker Addressee
Politeness speech context
Benefit transfer
Te currently observed tendency is that the profled referents of the o-Verb(stem)-
suru construction are shifing from the subject and nonsubject referents of the
sentence describing the event to the two prominent participants of the discourse.
Te direction of diachronic change in honorifcs from the referent to addressee
honorifcs has been pointed out by researchers including Tsujimura (1992, etc.),
Dasher (1995), and Traugott and Dasher (2002). For example, the addressee hon-
orifc form -masu originated in a referent honorifc. Interestingly, in his analysis
of honorifc grammaticalization, Dasher (1995) stated that the o-Verb(stem)-suru
form does not participate in this direction of change. Although the use of o-
Verb(stem)-suru is not identical to the use of -masu in that there should be a
non-subject referent in the described event and a beneft transfer relation be-
tween the speaker and the addressee, the data and analysis that I provided in this
paper show that this construction also participates in the general direction of
development and change manifested in the previous fndings especially when
analyzed from the point of view of intersubjectifcation. Tese observations there-
fore illustrate that usage and its context are indeed fundamental to the construc-
tion of grammar.
Context in constructions i,
6. Conclusion
Te diagrams of the three uses of the o-Verb(stem)-suru construction are identi-
fed with representations of the cognitive frame and interactional frame of the
utterances (e.g., Fillmore 1982) in the analysis above. Te specifc interactional
frame illustrated as the outer box in the diagram in the o-Verb(stem)-suru con-
struction is a very general one-- the politeness speech context in which the speak-
er and the addressee are situated. Te inner box in the diagram illustrates the cog-
nitive frame, which represents the event described by the utterance. Te advantage
of using both types of frames to describe the o-Verb(stem)-suru construction is the
capability of illustrating the relation between the contextual participants and the
event participants, and how these two interact, which is schematically indicated by
connecting lines between them. It is also noteworthy that concepts in Frame Se-
mantics and Construction Grammar well accommodate even those constructions
that are contextually sensitive, such as honorifcs constructions, and allow us to
describe their variations and change.
Te fndings in this light strongly suggest that the usage and the context of
linguistic constructions can crucially afect the grammatical conditions of the con-
structions. I also touched upon the signifcance of a pragmatically supported net-
work of knowledge in determining the grammaticality of constructions such as
complex noun phrases in Japanese. Pragmatic factors, usage, and context are not
peripheral or accidental, but are critically woven into the way in which a grammar
of human language operates. Without such pragmatic and contextual knowledge,
linguistic facts to which systematic explanations can be given would be very lim-
ited: the grammaticality of noun phrases such as [[toire ni ikenai] komaasyaru]
(mentioned earlier) cannot be explained. Te same is true of other similar exam-
ples that defy regular syntactic explanations. Further, the seemingly ungrammati-
cal honorifc constructions which are the focus of this paper, in fact follow the
general tendency of variations and direction of change, would have to remain as
unexplained deviations. What these considerations demonstrate is that a human
language is not a collection of codes that exist void of human experience and
speech contexts, and that a grammar of a human language will be limited and im-
poverished if it does not refect such property.
io Yoshiko Matsumoto
7. List of abbreviations
ACC: Accusative HUM: Humble Form
AH: Addressee Honorifc NEG: Negavie
COMP: Complement NMLZ: Nominalizer
COND: Conditional NOM: Nominative
DAT: Dative NSH: Nonsubject Honorifc
GEN: Genitive PROG: Progressive
HP: Honorifc Prefx SH: Subject Honorifc
Bunka cho (Bureau of Culture). 1996. Kokugo Shingi-kai Hookokusho (Report of Council of the
National Language) 20. Tokyo: Ministry of Finance.
Dasher, Richard Byrd. 1995. Te Grammaticalization in the System of Japanese Predicate
Honorifcs. PhD dissertation, Stanford University.
Fillmore, Charles. 1975. An alternative to checklist theories of meaning. In Proceedings of the
First Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 123131. Berkey CA: BLS.
Fillmore, Charles. 1982. Frame semantics. In Linguistics in the Morning Calm, Linguistic Society
of Korea (ed.), 111138. Seoul: Hanshin.
Harada, S-I. 1976. Honorifcs. In Syntax and Semantics, 5: Japanese Generative Grammar,
Masayoshi Shibatani (ed.), 499561. New York NY: Academic Press.
Hayashi, Shiro & Fujio Minami. 19734. Keigo Kooza (Lectures on Honorifcs). Tokyo: Meiji
Hudson, M. 1999. Teinei-hyoosiki tosite no kenzyoo-doosi (Japanese humbling verbs as polite-
ness markers). In Gengogaku to nihongo kyooiku (Linguistics and Japanese language educa-
tion), Yukiko Sasaki Alam (ed.), 259274. Tokyo: Kurosio Syuppan.
Kikuchi, Yasuto. 1980. Jooge-taiguu-hyoogen no kijutu (Description of expressions for the treat-
ment of status distinctions). Kokugogaku (Japanese linguistics): 39 - 54.
Kokuritsu Kokugo Kenkyujo (Te National Language Research Institute), 1957. Keigo to keigo-
ishiki (Honorifcs and the attitudes toward honorifcs). Tokyo: Shueido Shuppan.
Kuno, Susumu. 1983. Sin Nihon-bunpoo Kenkyuu (New studies in Japanese grammar). Tokyo:
Kuno, Susumu. 1987. Honorifc marking in Japanese and the word formation hypothesis of
causatives and passives. Studies in Language 11(1): 99128. DOI: 10.1075/sl.11.1.05kun
Lakof, Robin T. 1980. How to look as if you arent doing anything with words: Speech act qual-
ifcation. Versus Quaderni di Studi Semiotici Milano 26/27, 2947.
Laury, Ritva & Ono, Tsuyoshi. 2005. Data is data and model is model: You dont discard the data
that doesnt ft your model! Language 81: 218225. DOI: 10.1353/lan.2005.0026
Martin, Samuel Elmo. 1975. A Reference Grammar of Japanese. New Haven CT: Yale University
Matsumoto, Yoshiko. 1985. A sort of speech act qualifcation in Japanese: chotto. Journal of
Asian Culture 9: 143159.
Context in constructions i
Matsumoto, Yoshiko. 1997a. Noun-Modifying Constructions in Japanese: A Frame Semantic Ap-
proach [Studies in Language Companion Series 35]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. DOI:
Matsumoto, Yoshiko. 1997b. Te rise and fall of Japanese nonsubject honorifcs: Te case of o-
Verb-suru. Journal of Pragmatics 28: 719740. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-2166(97)00072-6
Matsumoto, Yoshiko. 2001. Tyotto: Speech act qualifcation in Japanese revisited. Japanese Lan-
guage and Literature 35(1): 116. DOI: 10.2307/489703
Matsumoto, Yoshiko. 2008. Variations in Japanese honorifcation. Deviations or a change in the
making? In Constructional Re-organization [Constructional Approaches to Language
Series 5], Jaakko Leino (ed.), 89104. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
McCawley, James D. 1993. A Japanese and Ainu linguistic feast (Review of Shibatani 1990).
Journal of Linguistics 29: 469484. DOI: 10.1017/S0022226700000402
Newmeyer, Frederick J. 2003. Grammar is grammar and usage is usage. Language 79, 682707.
Sweetser, Eve. 1990. From etymology to pragmatics. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780
Tannen, Deborah. 1979. Whats in the frame? Surface evidence for underlying expectations. In
New Directions in Discourse Processes, Roy O. Freedle (ed.), 137181. Norwood NJ: Ablex.
Tokieda, Motoki. 1941. Kokugogaku genron (Te theory of Japanese linguistics). Tokyo: Iwanami
Traugott, Elisabeth Closs & Dasher, Richard Byrd. 2002. Regularity and Semantic Change.
Cambridge: CUP.
Tsujimura, Toshiki. 1967. Gendai no keigo (Modern honorifcs). Tokyo: Kyobunsha.
Tsujimura, Toshiki. 1968. Keigo no sitekikenkyuu (Historical studies on honorifcs). Tokyo:
Tokyo-do Shuppan.
Tsujimura, Toshiki. 1992. Keigo ronkoo (Essays on honorifcs). Tokyo: Meiji Shoin.
Yamada, Yoshio. 1931[1924]. Keigohoo no kenkyuu (Te studies of honorifcation). Tokyo:
Te use and interpretation of regional and
standard variants in Japanese conversation
Shigeko Okamoto
It is ofen said that language standardization has been steadily advancing in
modern Japan and that speakers in regional Japan are now bi-dialectal and
code-switch between Standard and regional Japanese. Te notion of code-
switching, however, assumes the existence of varieties, or well-defned linguistic
systems, that are distinct from each other. In this study, I examine the use of
Standard Japanese and regional dialects and argue that it is much more
complex and dynamic than what can be possibly accounted for in terms of the
notion of code-switching involving two distinct varieties. I explore an alternative
account employing the notion of variant choice and characterize the social
meanings of Standard and regional variants as context-dependent and as
multiple and ambiguous.
1. Introduction
It is ofen noted that due to a variety of factors associated with the nations mod-
ernization since the Meiji Restoration in 1867--e.g. the government language pol-
icy, which promoted Standard Japanese (SJ, hereafer)
and the development of
mass communication and transportation system--language standardization has
been steadily advancing in modern Japan, reducing regional diferences (e.g.,
Kobayashi et al. 1996; Yoneda 1997; Chapter 10 in Kunihiro et al. 1999; Sanada
2002; Kobayashi & Shinozaki 2003). At the same time, however, it has also been
pointed out that regional varieties of Japanese have not lost their vitality, and that
many speakers are now bi-dialectal and code-switch between the regional and
standard varieties according to the situation (e.g., Inoue 1988; Shibata 1988;
Miyake 1995; Long 1996; Sanada 1996; Carroll 2001). For example, Inoue (1988:
1. In this paper I use double quotes around the terms that refer to particular varieties of
Japanese, such as Standard Japanese and Osaka dialect, because these categories are not set
in stone and do not constitute linguistic systems that are distinct from each other, as will be
discussed in the ensuing sections.
i8o Shigeko Okamoto
1920) states that while standardization is proceeding, dialectal forms are still
used vigorously (in informal situations), showing a kind of bi-dialectalism. Long
(1996: 122) notes that whereas the typical trend in Eastern-Japanese dialect
changes has been a shif from the local dialect to the standard, the trend in
Western-Japanese dialects has been towards bi- (or multi-) dialectalism with sit-
uational code-switching. Sanada (1996, 2000) uses the term neo-hoogen, or neo-
dialect, to refer to a koodo code, or a linguistic system, that lies in between hoogen
dialect and hyoojun-go standard language. Speakers are then said to code-switch
between the three varieties depending on the situation (Sanada 1996: 7; cf. Ball
2004; Hosotani 2004).
Tese previous studies provide us with some general ideas about the use of
regional dialects and Standard Japanese. However, they are usually based on
informal observations or self-report survey data, which tend to elicit answers ac-
cording to the respondents normative expectations about language use. It is thus
unclear exactly how and why individual speakers use their regional dialect and
Standard Japanese in actual conversations. In particular, terms such as bi-dia-
lectalism and situational code-switching imply that there are distinct varieties,
or dialects, of Japanese and that speakers use one variety at a time depending on
the situation. But can we in fact identify such distinct varieties, or codes, as well-
defned linguistic systems? If we can, how? If not, why? Tere have been numerous
studies of code-switching behavior, but most of them involve two (or more) difer-
ent languages (e.g., most of the chapters in Heller 1988; Milroy & Muysken 1995;
Auer 1998, 2000; Li Wei 2000; Gardner Chloros 2009), and not diferent dialects of
the same language. Some exceptions include Blom & Gumperz (1972) on
Norwegian and Giacalone Ramat (1995) on Italian, both of which treat the two
varieties/dialects in question as distinct codes, or linguistic systems (but cf. Auer
1976 cited by Giacalone Ramat 1995, Maehlum 1996). In this study, I analyze the
use of regional and Standard Japanese in conversations and argue that it is
much more complex and dynamic than what can be possibly accounted for in
terms of the notion of code-switching, involving two distinct varieties.
I then at-
tempt to explore an alternative account employing the notion of variant choice.
My analysis demonstrates that the social meanings of Standard and regional
variants vary according to the context (i.e., are indexical) and are thus multiple
and ambiguous and that the speaker uses these variants as resources for construct-
ing a desired social context. My approach is in line with recent research on socio-
linguistic variation that emphasizes the need to consider fuid indexical meanings,
viewing language as a social practice taking place in specifc social, cultural, and
historical contexts (e.g., Agha 2003; Eckert 2008, 2012; Blommaert 2010; Johnstone
2. See Section 3.3 for further discussion of the notion of code-switching.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i8:
2010). Based on the fndings of this study I will also consider their implications for
the notion of Japanese grammar and that of dialect as a linguistic category.
2. Method
Te conversations examined in this study come from two sets of data collected in
two locales in Western Japan: one involving speakers in Osaka City, one of the
major cities in Japan, and the other involving speakers in Shuho-cho, a small rural
town in Yamaguchi prefecture. Te Osaka data consist of 7 conversations in which
one speaker, Teru,
talks with diferent persons, as shown in Table 1. Teru was born
and grew up in Osaka; her interlocutors are all from the Kansai region, which in-
cludes Osaka. Te Yamaguchi data consist of 9 conversations. One speaker,
Sachiko, is in 6 conversations, and another speaker, Yuri, is in 4 conversations;
each of them talks with a diferent person in each conversation, as shown in Table 2.
(In one of the conversations, Sachiko and Yuri are the participants.) Sachiko was
born in Fukuoka, Kyushu, but has lived in Shuho-cho and its vicinity most of the
time since childhood; Yuri was born and lived in Shuho-cho throughout her life.
Te interlocutors of Sachiko and Yuri are also from Shuho-cho or its vicinity.
Te researcher was not present in any of the conversations. Te three pivotal
speakers, Teru, Sachiko, and Yuri, were asked to record conversations in which
they talk with people in diferent kinds of relationships, such as a family member,
close friend, superior, or acquaintance. Tat is, these three pivotal speakers chose
their interlocutors on their own. Te topics of conversations were self-selected.

Table 1. Conversations from the Osaka data set
Teru (T, female, age 28), talking with
T-1: her close friend (A, female, age 27) over the phone
T-2: her husband (B, male, age 25) at home
T-3: her co-worker (C, female, age 26) during a break from work
T-4: her supervisor (D, female, age 28) and other co-workers (C and E, female, age 26 and F,
male, age 27) at a staf meeting
T-5: her supervisor (D) and co-workers (C and E) during a break
T-6: her mother-in-law (G, age late 40s) over the phone
T-7: a customer (H, female) at the department store where she works
3. Te names of all participants are pseudonyms.
4. For the Yamaguchi data the frst 8 minutes of each conversation was examined. However,
for the Osaka data it was not possible to have the same length of each conversation, because
some of the conversations were very short; the lengths of the seven conversations vary from 3 to
8 minutes.
i8i Shigeko Okamoto
Table 2. Conversations from the Yamaguchi data set
Sachiko (S, female, age 58), talking with
S-1 her mother (I, female, age 78) at Ss home
S-2 her older sister (J, female, age 60) at Js home
S-3 her daughter (K, female, age 23) at their home
S-4 her close friend (L, female, age 59) at Ls home
S-5* her daughters friend (Y, female, age 25) at Ys home
S-6 her daughters former high school teacher (M, female, age 69) at Ms home
Yuri (Y, female, age 25), talking with
Y-1 her mother (N, female, age 44) at their home
Y-2 her father (O, male, age 58) at their home
Y-3 her close friend (P, female, age 23) at Ps home
her friends mother (S, female, age 58) at Ys home
In analyzing the data, I use the term variants (of a variable) to refer to individual
linguistic forms, or diferent manifestations of a particular linguistic item (e.g. the
particles na and ne are variants, see Table 3), and the term code to refer to a linguistic
system, or variety, consisting of a set of linguistic (phonological, morpho- syntactic,
lexical, etc.) properties. Further, as noted earlier, I use terms such as Osaka
Table 3. Examples of variants relevant to the Osaka data set
Phonological variants
a. Te use of a contour tone within a vowel in one- or two-mora words (e.g. hi fre, having a L
to H
contour; me in ame rain, having a H to L contour) in OD, but not in SJ.
b. Devoicing of i and u in a voiceless environment (e.g. i in kita north) occurs much less fre-
quently in OD than in SJ (Inoue 1989).
c. Pitch-accent patterns difer considerably, as illustrated below:
kaze ga kawa ga kasa ga ame ga
N.B. kaze wind, kawa river, kasa umbrella, ame rain, ga, a subject marker (Shibatani 1990)
5. In Table 2, S-5 and Y-4 are the same conversation.
6. L stands for a low pitch, and H a high pitch.
7. Abbreviations used for word classes are as follows: A, adjective; Adv, adverb; AN, adjectival
noun; N, noun; and V, verb.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i8
Morphological variants
Interactional particles
OD SJ English gloss
A/AN/N/V de
A/AN/N/V yo I tell you
A/V n A/V no you know
A/V ne (n) A/V no(yo)/n da you see
A/AN/N/V yan A/AN/N/V janai right?, isnt it?
na(a) ne(e) right?, isnt it
Infectional endings
OD SJ English gloss
Adv-oo/uu Adv-ku adverbial ending
AN/N-ya N/AN-da copulative auxiliary
A/AN/N/V-yaro(o) A/AN/N/V-daro(o) isnt it ...?, probably
V-haru V-reru/o-V-ni naru subject-referent honorifc
V-hen/n V-nai negation (not V)
V-n V-ru V infnitive
V-oote/oota V-tte/tta V gerundive/past
V-toru V-teru V progressive/stative
Conjunctive particles
OD SJ English gloss
S te S tte quotative
Lexical variants
Verbs/Adjectives/Adjectival Nouns/Adverbs
OD SJ English gloss
akan ikenai not good
donai doo/donna ni how
ee ii good, fne
erai taihen na terrible
honma hontoo really
sha::nai shikataganai cannot be helped
shindo(i) tsukareta tired
yooke takusan many/much
OD SJ English gloss
hona (sore) ja(a)/nara then
honnara sore nara/son nara then
(ho)nde (sore)de and then, so
soya kara dakara therefore
soya kedo dattte/demo/dakedo but
i8| Shigeko Okamoto
dialect (OD hereafer), Yamaguchi dialect (YD hereafer), and regional
dialects in double quotes, because they are broad cultural categories and cannot
be regarded as well-defned, static linguistic categories that are distinct from each
other (see Sections 3 for further discussion). Note also that many expressions do
not have regional and Standard variants--i.e., the same expressions are used in
diferent varieties. In analyzing the data, I focus only on the forms that I, the
analyst, identifed as regional and Standard variants in consultation with na-
tive speakers of OD and YD, Nakagawa (1982) and Yamamoto (1982).
readers, however, may not entirely agree with the identifcations used in this study,
which is possible due to the dynamic nature of the indexical values associated with
these variant forms (see Section 3.4 for further discussion). For the Osaka data, I
examine phonological, morphological, and lexical variables.
For the Yamaguchi
data, I examine only morphological and lexical variables
because phonological
features, including the pitch-accent patterns, are mostly the same as those in SJ,
as noted in Nakayama (1982) and Shibatani (1990). Tables 3 and 4 show examples
of the variants relevant to the two data sets.
3. Results and discussion
3.1 Inter- and intraspeaker variation
Table 5 shows Terus use of SJ variants in total as well as in each of the three cate-
gories--phonology, morphology, and lexicon. Table 6 shows Sachikos and Yuris
use of SJ variants in total as well as in each of the two categories--morphology and
As we can see in these Tables, there is wide interspeaker variation. Overall,
Teru used SJ variant forms 38% of the time, Sachiko 16% of the time, and Yuri
48% of the time. In particular, Table 6 shows a clear diference between the two
speakers, Sachiko and Yuri, even though they have lived in the same town most of
their life and spoke in similar situations for the present data. For example, when
8. For OD I (a native speaker of Kansai dialect, which includes OD) consulted one other
native speaker for OD; for YD I consulted three native speakers for YD.
9. Some of the morphological and lexical variables may appear to be phonological variables.
However, I treat a variable as morphological if it involves a grammatical function (e.g. verb
conjugations) or pragmatic function (e.g. interactional particles). I treat a variable as lexical if it
involves only a particular lexical item or a particular group of lexical items.
10. I examined only those variables that occurred frequently and were identifed as YD and
SJ variants by the native-speaker consultants, as they could not give SJ counterparts for some
of the regional forms.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i8,
Table 4. Examples of variants relevant to the Yamaguchi data set
Morphological variables
Infectional endings
YD SJ English gloss
Adv-oo/uu Adv-ku adverbial ending
AN/N-ya/ja AN/N-da copulative auxiliary
A/AN/N/V-yaro(o) A/AN/N/V-daro(o) isnt it ...?, probably
A/AN/N/Vjaroo A/AN/N/V-daro(o) isnt it ...?, probably
V-choru V-teru V progressive/stative
V-n V-nai negation (not V)
V-oote/oota V-tte/tta V gerundive/past
Lexical variables
Verbs/Adjectives/Adjectival Nouns/Adverbs
YD SJ English gloss
ee ii good, fne
donee do, donna how
sonee so, sonna such
YD SJ English gloss
hetara soshitara then
hede, hete sorede and, so
honde, hode sorede, dakara so, therefore
(he)jakedo dakedo, demo but
(he)yakara dakara so, therefore
the interlocutor is the speakers mother, Sachiko used SJ variants only 5% of the
time, while Yuri used them 40% of the time; when the interlocutor is a close friend,
Sachiko used SJ variants only 5% of the time, while Yuri used them 49% of the
time; and when the interlocutor is the speakers superior (in terms of age, status,
etc.), Sachiko used SJ variants 62% of the time, while Yuri used them 85% of the
time. A number of factors, including the generational diference,
may contribute
to these interspeaker diferences, which require more investigation. But the im-
portant point here is the fact that interspeaker variation can be quite large.
Tese Tables also show that there is strikingly large intraspeaker variation.
Although there are individual diferences, all three speakers altered the use of
11. Although there are individual diferences, younger generations tend to use more Stan-
dard variants than older generations.
i8o Shigeko Okamoto
Table 5. Use of SJ variants by Teru
Conversation #
Phonology Morphology Lexicon Total
SJ SJ/Total # of
tokens (%)
SJ/Total # of
tokens (%)
SJ/Total # of
tokens (%)
(close friend)
almost none 16/123 (13) 4/40 (10) 20/163 (12)
almost none 36/183 (20) 16/49 (33) 52/232 (22)
almost none 25/77 (33) 3/8 (38) 28/85 (33)
(supervisor &
almost none 25/57 (44) 19/25 (76) 44/82 (54)
(supervisor &
almost none 75/126 (60) 29/48 (60) 104/174 (60)
almost none 5/7 (71) 6/7 (86) 11/14 (79)
some 35/36 (97) 9/10 (90) 44/46 (96)
Total 217/609 (36) 86/187 (46) 303/796 (38)
variants considerably depending on the situation/interlocutor. For example, the
use of SJ morphological and lexical variants ranged from 12% to 96% for Teru,
from 5% to 62% for Sachiko, and from 27% to 85% for Yuri. Further, the ratios of
regional and SJ variants change gradually from conversation to conversation.
3.2 Mixing regional and Standard variants
Tables 5 and 6 show that all three speakers mix regional and Standard variants
in a quite complex way. Although the proportions difer, they all mixed the two
kinds of variants in all the conversations examined here. Some of the mixings oc-
cur across sentences, while others occur within the same sentence or even within
the same phrase (see below for examples). Tables 5 and 6 also show that the speak-
ers mix variants within a particular category of variables (e.g. morphological vari-
ables). Tat is, all three speakers mixed regional and Standard morphological
12. Total combines the frequencies of morphological and lexical variables.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i8
Table 6. Use of SJ variants by Sachiko and Yuri
Conversation #
Morphology Lexicon Total
SJ /Total # of
tokens (%)
SJ/Total # of
tokens (%)
SJ / Total # of
tokens (%)
0/13 (0) 1/8 (13) 1/21 (5)
(older sister)
0/40 (0) 6/27 (22) 6/67 (9)
2/35 (6) 4/12 (33) 6/47 (13)
(close friend)
0/41 (0) 4/41 (10) 4/82 (5)
(daughters friend)
7/30 (23) 8/12 (67) 15/42 (36)
(daughters teacher)
6/14 (43) 7/7 (100) 13/21 (62)
Total 15/173 (9) 30/107 (28) 45/280 (16)
9/27 (33) 3/3 (100) 12/30 (40)
11/52 (21) 5/8 (63) 16/60 (27)
(close friend)
10/35 (29) 20/26 (77) 30/61 (49)
(friends mother)
20/25 (80) 15/16 (94) 35/41 (85)
Total 50/139 (36) 43/53 (81) 93/192 (48)
variants, includeing the variants of the same variable) in every conversation but in
difering proportions; they also mixed regional and Standard lexical variants
(including the variants of the same variable) in almost all conversations. For the
phonological variables, however, the speaker (Teru) used OD variants most of
the time and SJ variants only occasionally.
Additionally, variant mixings occur across diferent categories of variables
(phonological, morphological, lexical). For example, Table 5 shows that Teru does
not utilize the phonological, morphological, and lexical variables to the same ex-
tent. She hardly used SJ phonological forms, but used SJ morphological and
i88 Shigeko Okamoto
lexical forms much more frequently.
In other words, when she used SJ mor-
phological or lexical forms, they were usually pronounced with the OD phono-
logical patterns (e.g. using the SJ lexical variant ii good instead of its OD
counterpart ee, but pronouncing ii with the OD pitch pattern LH rather than
with the SJ pattern HL).
Speakers also mixed variants across morphological
and lexical variables, using, for example, an SJ lexical form and a regional mor-
phological form in the same sentence (see below for examples). Te kinds of vari-
ant mixings observed in the data are summarized in Table 7.
Another point to note here is that not all variables in the same category are
used in the same way. For example, for some morphological variables, SJ vari-
ants were used only infrequently, while for others, regional variants were used
only infrequently; and still for others, both variants were used relatively frequent-
ly, as shown in Tables 8 and 9.
Although more research is required, this difer-
ence in the use of variants among diferent variables may suggest that the process
of standardization does not afect all variables to the same extent (at a given point
in time).
Table 7. Ways of mixing regional and Standard variants
a. Variant mixings in the same conversation
Intersentential mixings
Intrasentential mixings
b. Variant mixings within the same category of variables
Using both regional and Standard morphological variants in the same conversation
Using both regional and Standard lexical variants in the same conversation
Using regional (OD) phonological variants primarily, and Standard variants only
occasionally in the same conversation
c. Variant mixings across diferent categories of variables
Using OD phonological variants along with SJ lexical and/or morphological variants
in the same conversation
Using SJ lexical (or morphological) variants and regional morphological (or lexical)
variants in the same conversation
13. Although more research needs to be done, this asymmetry in the use of phonological and
morphological/lexical features may suggest that it is more difcult to acquire/change phono-
logical features than morphological and lexical features.
14. Tis kind of mixing was in general not seen in the Yamaguchi data since the YD phono-
logical patterns are mostly the same as the SJ patterns.
15. Tables 8 and 9 show the three speakers use of regional and Standard variants for the
individual morphological variables that had more than 10 tokens in all the conversations each
speaker had.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i8
Table 8. Terus use of individual morphological variables in Conversations T1-T7
ODform SJ form # SJof tokens (%)
S-te S-tte 31 (91%)
V-oote/oota V-tte/-tta 12 (86)
Adv-oo/uu Adv-ku 10 (77)
V-toru/totta V-teru/teta 40 (71)
na(a) ne(e) 64 (50)
V-hen V-nai 7 (35)
A/AN/N/V de A/AN/N/V yo 6 (26)
A/V ne (n) A/V no(yo)/n da 6 (15)
AN/N-ya/yat(ta) AN/N-da/dat(ta) 4 (4)
A/AN/N/V-yaro(o) A/AN/N/V-daro(o) 1 (3)
A/AN/N/V-yan A/AN/N/V-janai 0 (0)
Table 9. Sachikos and Yuris use of individual morphological variables in Conversations
S1-S6 and Y1-Y4
YD form SJ form # of SJ tokens (%)
V-oote/oota V-tte/tta 10 (45)
V-chor(u) V-ter(u) 1 (3)
V-n V-nai 2 (2)
AN/N-ya/ja AN/N-da 0 (0)
V-oote/oota V-tte/tta 30 (88)
Adv-oo/uu Adv-ku 8 (67)
V-n V-nai 3 (19)
V-chor(u) V-ter(u) 4 (15)
AN/N-ya/ja AN/N-da 5 (10)
Let us look at some examples.
[In the following examples regional variants are
boldfaced and Standard variants are underlined. Phonological forms (e.g. pitch-
accent patterns) are not shown.]
16. Te following transcription conventions are used in this study.
? rising intonation = xxx = xxx overlapping with yyy
. falling intonation = yyy =
, slight fall indicating continuity = = xxx latching
:: lengthened segment [xxx] nonlexical phenomena (e.g. [laugh])
(.) pause of less than 1 second (xxx) unintelligible speech
(n) pause of n seconds
io Shigeko Okamoto
(1) [from Conversation T-5: Teru (T), talking with her supervisor (D) and
other coworkers (C and E) during a break at work]
1 T: ... dakara koo nagaku kuroku ke ga koo atte,
... so he has this long, black hair,
2 C: [laugh]
3 T: hige ga koo tsunagatteru kara:: ( . ) ne,
and his mustache is connected like this.
4 D: = =soo yuu hito inakatta.
Tat sort of person wasnt there.
5 T: = =inakatta desu::?
Tere wasnt?
6 D: uun
7 T: orahen katta n ka na::
I wonder if he wasnt there.
8 D: =uun=
9 T: =chau= hito otta n kamo shiren.
A diferent person may have been there.
10 mayuge ga iyoo ni futoine =yan,=
His eyebrows are unusually thick.
11 C: = [laugh]=
12 T: tsunagatteru tte kanji.
Its like they are connected to each other.
13 C: = =[laugh] wairudo::
Hes wild.
14 D: [laugh] wairudo-kee
Hes a wild-type
15 T: demo chotto otaku ya ne.
But hes a little nerd, isnt he?
16 T: a:: oishi soo.
oh, that sounds good.
17 ii na::
Tats nice.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i:
Example (1) is from the Osaka data set. In lines 114, Teru mixed OD and SJ
morphological and lexical variants intersententially. Tat is, in lines 1, 3, 5, and 12,
she used only SJ variants, and in lines 7, 9, and 10 she used only OD variants.
In lines 15 and 17, on the other hand, Teru mixes OD and SJ variants intra-
sententially. In 15 demo is an SJ lexical variant, ya an OD morphological vari-
ant, and ne an SJ morphological variant; in 17 ii is an SJ lexical form, and na::
an OD morphological form. Phonologically, Teru used OD variants in all her
utterances except for the vowel e in ke hair in line 1, for which she did not use the
OD form with a contour tone (H to L). In other words, even if Teru used SJ
morphological and lexical forms, they were pronounced with OD forms. For
example, in line 5, she used the SJ lexical variant i to be and the SJ morpho-
logical variant -nakat(ta) negative but pronounced the whole sentence using the
OD phonological forms, including the pitch-accent patterns (HHLLL for inakat-
ta instead of the SJ LHLLL) and the voiced long vowel u:: in desu:: copulative
auxiliary. Note also that she rephrases inakatta in line 5 as orahenkatta in line 7;
that is, she not only mixes SJ and OD forms in the same category of variables
(i.e. morphological and lexical), but also for the same variables i to be and -nai
nagative in the same conversation.
(2) [from Conversation S-5/Y-4; Sachiko (S), talking with Yuri (Y) at Yuris
1 S: Y-san nara koso:: (2) kyooryoku-shite moratte honto kansha-
shichoru yo?
Im grateful that you (Y) are helping me (as I thought you
2 Y: ie ie ie.
No, no, no.
3 K-san mo sugoi benkyoo gambatchotte mitai ya kara ma watashi
ga kore gurai dattara watashi mo honto o-tetsudai dekiru n de,
K seems to be studying very hard, and I can help her with
(small) things like this, so ...
4 S: =ureshii=
Im happy.
5 Y: =itsu demo= itte kudasai.
Please ask me any time.
6 S: ureshii, honto.
Im happy, really.
7 iya sasuga dookyuusee ja ne::
Well, you are worthy of (her) classmate, arent you?
ii Shigeko Okamoto
8 Y: ie ie ie honto.
No, no, no, really.
9 K-san mo hoikuen no koro kara zu::tto issho da shi, ma, kookoo
wa chigatta kedo, moo kochira daigaku sunde kara mo, iroiro
ohanashi-shitari, tegami no yaritori toka mo shiteru kara,
Ive been with K since kindergarten, although our high schools
were diferent, and afer I was done with the college, weve been
doing things like chatting and exchanging letters, so ...
10 S: sore hodo shimpai wa sen kedo ne::, yappari nanto naku shim-
bun toka de ne:: iroiro ano kiji o miru to ne::, ano
Im not worried that much, (but) as expected, when I see vari-
ous things in newspapers, and the like, uh ...
11 Y: u::n onna no ko da shi.
and she is a girl, so ...
12 S: [laugh] chotto po- porotto omou koto ga aru kedo ne::,
[laugh] Tere are times I think of her a little bit, but,
13 ee ka:: shitai koto o sashichoru n yake:: to
=omotte= ne::,
(then) I think its probably OK, because Im letting her do what
she wants to do,
14 Y: =uun,= sugoi =na::=
Yeah, thats great.
15 S: =soo=omotchoru i ne::.
I think so.
16 Y: sugoi wakari areru okaasan de ii na:: tto omotte,
I thought its nice that you are a very understanding mother,
Example (2) is a conversation between Sachiko and Yuri from the Yamaguchi data
set. Let us look at Sachikos speech frst. In lines 1 and 10 Sachiko mixed YD and
SJ morphological variants intra-sententially. In 7 she used one YD morpho-
logical variant. In lines 13 and 15, she mixes YD and SJ forms intra-sentential-
ly as well as across diferent categories of variables. Tat is, in line 13 the SJ
morphological variant omotte think is used along with the YD lexical variants
ee its OK and sashi let do and the YD morphological variants -choru (V)
progressive/stative, ya copulative auxiliary, and -ke:: because. In line 15, the SJ
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i
lexical variant soo so and the SJ morphological variant omot think is used along
with the YD morphological variants choru (V) progressive/stative and i
(for emphasis). Compared to Sachiko, Yuri used fewer YD forms (see also
Figure 2 and Table 6). In line 3, Yuri mixed YD and SJ morphological variants
intra-sententially. Note also that for the variable da (a copulative auxiliary), Yuri
used both YD variant ya and SJ variant da within the same sentence. In the
other turns (lines 5, 9, 11, and 16) in this extract, Yuri used only SJ variants (SJ
morphological forms in lines 5, 9, and 11, and SJ lexical and morphological
forms in line 16).
Tese analyses demonstrate that the use of regional and Standard variants
is highly complex and varies widely among speakers and across situations. In what
follows I consider how best we can account for these linguistic practices.
3.3 Code-switching or variant-choice?
As mentioned earlier, the use of regional and Standard Japanese has been de-
scribed in terms of the notion of code-switching. Tis treatment implies that one
can identify dialects, or codes, as distinct linguistic systems. However, the data
examined in this study indicate that it is difcult to identify such distinct linguistic
categories. I argue then that the kind of data examined here can be better account-
ed for in terms of the notion of variant choice (for each individual variable), rather
than that of code-switching. Before we discuss this issue further, let us frst con-
sider the notion of code-switching. Gumperz (1982: 66) defnes code-switching as
meaningful juxtaposition of what speakers must consciously or subconsciously
process as strings formed according to the internal rules of two distinct gram-
matical systems (cf. Brown 2003) As noted earlier, in research on code-switching
two distinct grammatical systems have mainly concerned diferent languages
rather than diferent dialects of the same language.
Example (3) illustrates code-switching between two diferent languages,
Swahili and English.
(3) [Setting: A conductor on a Nairobi bus has just asked a passenger where
he is going in order to determine the fare (in Swahili). Myers-Scotton
2000: 151152, quoted from Scotton and Ury 1977. P stands for passen-
ger, and C conductor.]
1 P (Swahili): Nataka kwenda posta.
I want to go to the post ofce.
2 C (Swahili): Kutoka hapa mpaka posta nauli ni senti hamsini.
From here to the post ofce, the fare is 50 cents.
(Passenger gives conductor a shilling from which there should be 50
cents in change.)
i| Shigeko Okamoto
3 C (Swahili): Ngojea change yako.
Wait for your change.
(Passenger says nothing until a few minutes have passed and the bus
nears the post ofce where the passenger will get of.)
4 P (Swahili): Nataka change yangu.
I want my change.
5 C (Swahili): Change utapata, Bwana.
Youll get your change, mister.
6 P (English): I am nearing my destination.
7 C (English): Do you think I could run away with your change?
According to Myers-Scotton, in line 6 the passenger switches from Swahili to English,
which is what Myers-Scotton considers a marked language in the given situation, in
order to encode authority and educational status, although the conductor coun-
ters by matching the passengers marked choice, showing that he too can compete in
any power game (involving here ability to speak English) (Myers-Scotton 2000:
151). As this example illustrates, code-switching is used to convey a particular social
or pragmatic meaning or meanings by language alternation. Te meanings signaled
by code-switching are diverse, including solidarity, distance, authority, irony, a par-
ticular speech act (e.g., request, refusal), emphasis, sequential contrast (e.g., side-
remark), and topic change. (see Heller 1988; Auer 1998; 2000; Gardner-Chloros et
al. 2000; Li 2000; Myers-Scotton 2000; Gardner-Chloros 2009 among others).
Te Japanese data examined earlier seem quite diferent from the kind of code-
switching involving two languages as illustrated in Example (3).
In the Japanese
case, there are many forms that are shared by SJ and a regional variety (OD
or YD), forms that are not variables. Syntactic structures in the two kinds of va-
rieties are largely the same. Further, as can be seen in Examples (1) and (2), only
some of the morphological and lexical items are variables, having regional and
Standard variants. Phonologically, OD forms are quite diferent from SJ
forms, but YD forms are quite similar, if not exactly the same. Tese facts make
it difcult to distinguish between dialects as distinct varieties. Let us consider, for
example, lines 5 and 7 in Example (1), reproduced here as (1a).
(1) a. [from Conversation T-5]
5 T: =inakatta desu::?
Tere wasnt?
17. Note, however, that even when two languages are involved, there are many cases that can-
not be fully accounted for in terms of the notion of language as a discrete linguistic system (e.g.
Brown 2003; Pennycook 2003; Blommaert 2010).
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i,
6 D: uun
7 T: orahen katta n ka na::
I wonder if he wasnt there.
Can we say, for example, that Teru switches to OD when she says orahen in line
7? But that would mean that the utterance in line 5 is SJ, when in fact its status is
ambiguous. Phonologically, the whole utterance in line 5 is made with OD forms;
lexically and morphologically, i and na are SJ variants, but what about katta
desu? Is it an SJ or OD form? Te syntactic structure of this utterance is not a
variable, either. How do we treat those forms that are not variables? Similar ques-
tions are applicable to the utterance in line 7.
Te English-Swahili code-switching example discussed above concerns
switching codes within a conversation. But the term is sometimes used in the sense
of code choice, or situational code-switching (Blom & Gumperz 1972). In this
case, a particular code, or language, is chosen in a particular situation (e.g. school,
home). Here, too, one must assume the existence of distinct codes, or grammatical
systems. We saw earlier that Teru, Sachiko, and Yuri all changed the amount of SJ
(or regional) forms used in each conversation examined. But in all conversations
they used both regional and standard variants. In other words, the use of vari-
ants is a matter of degree, which makes it difcult to draw non-arbitrary lines be-
tween dialects. If we regard any admixture of regional and Standard forms as
constituting a hybrid dialect, or neo-hoogen neo-dialect (Sanada 1996, 2000), the
speech of Teru, Sachiko, and Yuri in every conversation examined in this study
should be regarded as a hybrid dialect. But such a treatment cannot capture the
considerable intraspeaker variation across diferent conversations, since such vari-
ation does not seem to be random but functionally motivated (see Section 3.4 for
further discussion). It may be possible for a speaker to identify an individual lin-
guistic form as a regional or Standard variant to a certain extent, although this
identifcation itself is not always determinate, as indicated by the use of double
quotes around expressions like OD or SJ variants (see Section 3.4 for further
discussion). Te data examined in this study suggest that one cannot identify a
series of utterances in a conversation as representing a particular dialect, or gram-
matical system, that is distinct from other dialects.
In sum, my analyses show that the notion of variant-choice is more appropri-
ate than that of code-switching to account for the kind of linguistic behavior seen
in the present data. Te speaker chooses one of the variants for each variable at
each relevant point and then produces utterances that have a greater or lesser
amount of Standard (or regional) variants. I argue that variant-choice can be a
resource for the speakers style management, which I will discuss in Section 3.4.
io Shigeko Okamoto
3.4 Variant-choice as a resource for style management
Te fact that the speakers gradually altered the proportion of regional and Stan-
dard variants in diferent conversations suggests that the choice of variants is not
random, but rather functionally motivated. Te examination of how variants are
distributed in diferent contexts indicates that it is closely related to the speakers
afective stance, such as formal or polite attitude, toward various features of the
context. (I use the notion of formality in the sense of ones restrained or spontane-
ous/relaxed attitude toward a given situation (Okamoto 1999, 2008b), and the
notion of politeness in the sense of ones deferential attitude toward another indi-
vidual (Agha 1993).) Te assessment of what stance to take may be made based on
the consideration of a variety of aspects of the context, such as the relationship
between the speaker and the interlocutor (e.g., relative status, degree of intimacy),
domain (e.g., work, home), genre (e.g., making a report at a business meeting,
small talk, soliloquy), speech act type (e.g., request, apology), and topic. And it
may afect the choice of various linguistic expressions, including honorifcs
(non-)standard forms.

In the current data, our three speakers used regional variants most frequent-
ly with the interlocutors that are equal or lower-status persons and/or familiar
persons. Te use of regional variants decreased when they spoke with their
superiors and/or persons they dont know well. Further, even in the same conver-
sation, variants were used diferentially. For example, in a staf meeting in Conver-
sation T-4, SJ variants were used more when the speaker (Teru) was presenting
a report to the whole group than when she was participating in a discussion with
other participants. Also, when a speaker (Teru) was engaging in a dialogue with a
superior in Conversation T-5, SJ variants were used more frequently than when
she made soliloquy-like utterances in the same conversation, as seen in lines 5 and
7 in Example (1). Tese diferential uses thus seem to be related to the speakers
stance toward each context, that is, his/her assessment of what is the appropriate
degree of formality and/or politeness he/she should display in a given situation.
As is well known, SJ was created at the beginning of modern Japan based on
the variety presumably used by educated Tokyoites (e.g., Yasuda 1999), or by resi-
dents in the Yamanote area in Tokyo. Tat is, originally, the variety now known as
SJ was one of the regional (as well as class-based) dialects. However, I argue that
when it was selected as SJ, that is, when it was recontexualized (Blommaert
18. See Okamoto 1999 and 2008a for a discussion of formality and honorifcs.
19. I assume that a particular linguistic form (e.g., an honorifc) does not directly index a par-
ticular contextual aspect (e.g., degree of intimacy or status diference between participants);
rather, such an aspect is indirectly indexed through the pragmatic meaning (e.g., formality) as-
sociated with each linguistic form. See Okamoto 2004 for further discussion of this issue.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i
2005) in the national context and juxtaposed and compared with other regional
dialects, it was reinterpreted as an index of social meanings, such as correct, supe-
rior, formal, and polite, in contrast to the social meanings assigned to non- Standard
Japanese, that is, other regional dialects (see Agha 2003: 251 for a discussion of the
parallel reinterpretation of Received Pronunciation in English; see also Milroy
2001: 535 for a discussion of the notion of standard language culture that tends to
assign certain values to standard varieties). Accordingly, it started to be used more
frequently in contexts thought to require the speaker to take a formal and/or polite
stance. If this is the case, does that mean that regional and Standard variants
index the speakers afective stance of formality and/or politeness rather than his/
her regionality? I argue that the indexical meanings of these variants are ambigu-
ous between formality/politeness and regionality (cf. Ball 2004). In fact, these
variants used in specifc contexts may be further interpreted as indexes of other
meanings. For example, SJ variants interpreted as the speakers formal and/or
polite stance may be further linked to a particular relationship (e.g., status difer-
ence) or a particular genre (e.g. public speech). Or they may be further accorded
afective meanings such as beautiful, refned, and feminine. Moreover, depending
on the context, positive meanings such as formal and polite may be reinterpreted
negatively as aloof, cold, and bland, as, for instance, when a speaker of Standard
Japanese does not attempt to assimilate his/her speech to the local dialect afer
moving to regional Japan (e.g., Sato 1996; also cf. Okamoto 2011, in which she
discusses similar variability of indexical meanings in regard to honorifcs). Tat is,
the indexical meanings of these variants are variable, multiple, and ambiguous.
Eckert (2008: 463), drawing on Silversteins (2003) notion of idexical order, argues
that [p]articipation in discourse involves a continual interpretation of forms in
context, an in-the-moment assigning of indexical values to linguistic forms. A
form with an indexical value, what Silverstein calls an nth order usage, is always
available for reinterpretation for the acquisition of an n + 1st value.
Te present analysis also indicates that the meanings of the two kinds of vari-
ants are indeterminate in that not everyone may share the same interpretations for
all the variables. As mentioned earlier, I, the analyst, classifed these variants in
consultation with native-speakers of OD and YD, Nakagawa (1982), and
Yamamoto (1982) in order to have a certain reference point for my data analysis.

But I have been using terms such as Standard and regional in double quotes
throughout this paper, because these classifcations are not absolute. Te data
examined here suggest that standardization is defnitely afecting speakers in
20. As I discuss here, not everyone may classify variants in exactly the same way, but even if one
uses diferent classifcations, one is likely to fnd diversity in the use of these variants, although
further study is called for regarding this issue.
i8 Shigeko Okamoto
regional Japan, and that there are wide interspeaker (or intergenerational) varia-
tion in the degree of standardization. Accordingly, the meanings of a particular
variable may be indeterminate or ambiguous due to individual diferences. Take,
for instance, the interactional particle ne/na. If the speaker primarily uses the OD
variant na and uses the SJ variant ne only occasionally, he/she may perceive ne
more strongly as an SJ variant, or foreign, expression as well as an formal and/
or polite expression. If, on the other hand, the speaker uses ne rather than na al-
most always, he/she may not perceive ne as an SJ variant, or foreign, form, nor
as a formal and/or polite expression.
Furthermore, as noted earlier, the degree of
standardization may vary considerably depending on the variable. If a particular
variable (e.g., the particles ne and na) becomes completely standardized (for a par-
ticular speaker), then there will be no variant-choice that can be used as a resource
for style-management concerning formality or politeness. Tis suggests that the
indexical meanings of variants of each variable (e.g., na/ne) are inseparable from
the context of use, and that they are not fxed but relative to specifc contexts.
Eckert (2008: 453) argues that: the meanings of variables are not precise or fxed
but rather constitute a feld of potential meanings an indexical feld, or constella-
tion of ideologically related meanings, any one of which can be activated in the
situated use of the variable. Such a dynamic view of indexical meanings is also
required in accounting for the interpretation of Japanese variables in question.
As we saw above, the speakers mixed two kinds of variants in intriguing ways--
inter- and intrasententially, within the same kind of variables (e.g., morphological
variables), and across diferent kinds of variables (e.g., phonological and morpho-
logical variables). It seems that mixing the two kinds of variants in an array of ways
enables the speaker to express diferent stances by indexing diferent degrees of re-
gionality, formality and/or politeness (as well some other context-related meanings),
thereby fne-tuning the overall efect. Johnstone (2010: 389), in her discussion of
dialects (in English and other languages) in contact, argues for viewing regional
speech not just as an automatic consequence of where a person was born or raised
but as a resource for social action, and that work on style (e.g., Eckert and Rickford
2001; Coupland 2007) has showed how social identities can be evoked or created
through the use of particular linguistic forms and has suggested that, at least for
some people and in some ways, regional forms could serve such purposes. Te vari-
ant choice we saw in this study ofers an additional example of such use of linguistic
forms as a social action, in which variants serve as resources for style management
in creating a desired context, including identities and relationships.
21. Note also that variables such as da, janai, sa (in SJ) tend to be used only in informal situ-
ations even in SJ. Te use of such SJ variants by speakers of regional dialects may not be
associated with formality.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants i
4. Conclusion and implications for grammar
Te foregoing analyses demonstrate that it is too simplistic to characterize the kind
of linguistic behavior observed in this study as code-switching between two or
three distinct varieties of Japanese. Notions such as hoogen dialect and neo-hoogen
presuppose that there exist well-defned speech varieties, or linguistic systems out
there, that can be clearly distinguished from each other. Tese terms may be use-
ful, and perhaps even necessary, to refer to broad regional diferences. But at the
same time, the present data suggest that these notions are reifcations of discrete
categories vis--vis the synchronic and diachronic continuum of diferences. Such
a static view of language cannot fully capture the complex and dynamic process
involved in the use and interpretation of variant choice, as observed in this study.
Lastly, I would like to discuss briefy some broader theoretical issues. Although
more research involving more speakers in many diferent regions needs to be done,
the fndings of this study raise a number of questions regarding the notion of
Japanese grammar as well as that of dialect as a linguistic category. Here I note
three interrelated issues to consider:
1. Linguistic variation and the grammar of a language: When we say Japanese
grammar, what should be considered as constituting the Japanese language?
How can the vast regional and individual variation be dealt with? If the gram-
mar of Japanese (or any other language) refects the shared knowledge among
the native speakers in a particular speech community, how can we conceive of
native speakers or a speech community? To what extent is the knowledge
shared? Te kind of variation observed in this study is not simply free variation,
but rather concerns evolving structure. How can the diverse knowledge indi-
vidual speakers have be represented as the grammar of a particular language?
2. Non-discreteness of linguistic categories: Just as the notion of grammar of a
particular language requires reconsideration, the present study also raises a
question of whether one can talk about the grammar of a particular dialect
(e.g. such as SJ, OD, and YD). It might be possible to talk about the gram-
mar of a dialect if one were to refer to some idealized or vaguely characterized
linguistic systems as dialects. Te notion of code-switching assumes the exis-
tence of such linguistic systems. However, the analysis in this study suggests
that such a view is not congruent with what individual speakers like Teru,
Sachiko, and Yuri know and do in practice, and that dialectal diferences are
on a continuum of synchronic and diachronic variation.
3. Ambiguity and fuidity of indexical meanings: As discussed above, the indexi-
cal meanings of variants examined in this study suggest that the relation
of form and meaning is not fxed, but is shaped through use embedded in a
oo Shigeko Okamoto
historical context in which standardization of Japanese has been advancing for
a variety of reasons, as noted in Section 1.
Tat is, the relation of form, mean-
ing, and context of use are in a dialectic relationship. How can the grammar of
a particular language deal with this kind of dynamic process?
Te three questions raised here are in line with the theoretical orientation in re-
cent research that seeks a more dynamic approach to sociolinguistic variation,
viewing language as a social practice rather than as an abstract linguistic system.
In discussing language use and globalization, Blommaert (2010: 18), for example,
claims that [e]stablished notions such as language, culture, or place are not use-
ful in an analysis of objects that are necessarily mixed, hybrid, local as well as de-
localized (or delocalizable), dynamic and unstable. Similarly, Johnstone (2010:
392) argues that while people can be said to speak the same language or variety,
or to share ways of talking, we must assume that such sharing is never com-
plete, and that it must be renegotiated in every interaction. She contends that
languages and dialects, like localities, are imagined, and culturally constructed.
In sum, the observations made in this study suggest a need for a view of lan-
guage as a dynamic process that constantly renews linguistic structure, rather than
as a static autonomous entity, or to use Milroys (2001) term, a stable synchronic
fnite-state idealization. In order to account for variation and change in linguistic
structure, we need to examine closely individual speakers patterns of linguistic
practice, which may be much fuzzier and much more unstable than we may expect
them to be.
5. Acknowledgment
I would like to thank those who participated in the data collection, in particular,
Chika Kobayashi, Kimiko Izumi, and Takae Izumi. Tis study is an extension of
Okamoto (2008a, b). Im grateful to Kaori Kabata and Tsuyoshi Ono for their valu-
able comments on the earlier version of this paper, which was presented at the
Symposium on Functional Approaches to Japanese Grammar (2004). I also wish
to thank the other participants of the symposium as well as the anonymous re-
viewer and the following people for their helpful comments and discussion: Hiromi
Ano, Reiko Ano, Ritva Laury, Karen Mistry, and Raymond Weitzman.
22. See Yasuda (1999), Komori (2000), and Carroll (2001) for discussions of the historical
background of the standardization of Japanese.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants o:
Agha, Asif. 1993. Grammatical and indexical convention in honorifc discourse. Journal of Lin-
guistic Anthropology 3(2): 131163. DOI: 10.1525/jlin.1993.3.2.131
Agha, Asif. 2003. Social life of cultural value. Language and Communication 23: 231273. DOI:
Auer, Peter. 1976. Konversationelle standard dialect-kontinua (code shifing). Deutsche Sprache
2: 97124.
Auer, Peter. (ed.). 1998. Code-Switching in Conversation: Language, Interaction, and Identity.
London: Routledge.
Auer, Peter. 2000. A conversation analytic approach to code-switching and transfer. In Te Bilin-
gual Reader, Li Wei (ed.), 166187. London: Routledge.
Ball, Christopher. 2004. Repertoires of registers: Dialect in Japanese discourse. Language and
Communication 24: 355380. DOI: 10.1016/j.langcom.2004.01.004
Blom, Jan Petter & Gumperz, John J. 1972. Social meaning in linguistic structure: Code-switch-
ing in Norway. In Directions in Sociolinguistics: Te Ethnography of Communication, John J.
Gumperz & Dell Hymes (eds), 407434. New York NY: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Blommaert, Jan. 2005. Discourse: A Critical Introduction. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/
Blommaert, Jan. 2010. Te Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/
Brown, Becky. 2003. Code-convergent borrowing in Louisiana French. Journal of Sociolinguis-
tics 7(1): 323. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9481.00208
Carroll, Tessa. 2001. Language Planning and Language Change in Japan. Richmond: Curzon
Coupland, Nicholas. 2007. Style: Language Variation and Identity. Cambridge: CUP. DOI:
Eckert, Penelope. 2008. Variation and the indexical feld. Journal of Sociolinguistics 12(4): 453
476. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9841.2008.00374.x
Eckert, Penelope. 2012. Tree waves of variation study: Te emergence of meaning in the study
of sociolinguistic variation. Annual Review of Anthropology 41: 87100.
Eckert, Penelope & Rickford, John. 2001. Style and Sociolinguistic Variation. Cambridge: CUP.
Gardner-Chloros, Penelope. 2009. Code-switching. Cambridge: CUP.
Gardner-Chloros, Penelope, Charles, Reeva & Cheshire, Jenny. 2000. Parallel patterns?: A com-
parison of monolingual speech and bilingual codeswitching discourse. Journal of Pragmat-
ics 32: 13051341. DOI: 10.1016/S0378-2166(99)00120-4
Giacalone Ramat, Anna. 1995. Code-switching in the context of dialect/standard language rela-
tions. In Milroy & Muysken (eds), 4567.
Gumperz, John J. 1982. Te sociolinguistics of interpersonal communication. In Discourse
Strategies, John J. Gumperz (ed.), 937. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511
Heller, Monica (ed.). 1988. Codeswitching: Anthropological and Sociolinguistic Perspectives.
Berlin: Mouton. DOI: 10.1515/9783110849615
Hosotani, F. 2004. Osaka-shi hoogen washa no sutairu kirikae [Style switching of speakers of
Osaka City dialect]. Handai Shakai Gengogaku Keyuu Nooto (Osaka University Sociolin-
guistics Research Notes) 4: 4259.
oi Shigeko Okamoto
Inoue, Fumio. 1988. Dialect image and new dialect forms. Tokyo University of Foreign Languag-
es, Area and Culture Studies 38: 1322.
Inoue, Fumio. 1989. Kotoba-zukai Shinfuukee (New Landscape of Language Use). Tokyo: Kai-
yama Shoten.
Johnstone, Barbara. 2010. Indexing the local. In Te Handbook of Language and Globalization,
Nikolas Coupland (ed.), 386405. Oxford: Blackwell. DOI: 10.1002/9781444324068.ch17
Kobayashi, Takashi & Shinozaki, Kooichi (eds). 2003. Gaidobukku: Hoogen Kenkyuu (A Guide-
book: Dialect Research). Tokyo: Hitsuji-shobo.
Kobayashi, Takashi., Shinozaki, Kooichi & Onishi, Takeharu (eds). 1996. Hoogen no Genzai
(Te Present State of Dialects). Tokyo: Meiji-shoin.
Komori, Yichi. 2000. Nihon-go no Kindai (Te Japanese Language in Modern Times), 2nd edn.
Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Kunihiro, Tetsuya, Inoue, Fumio & Long, Daniel (eds). 1999. Takesi Sibata: Sociolinguistics in
Japanese Contexts. Berlin: Mouton. DOI: 10.1515/9783110821307
Long, Daniel, 1996. Quasi-standard as a linguistic concept. American Speech 71: 118135. DOI:
Maehlum, Brit. 1996. Codeswitching in Hemnesberget: Myth or reality? Journal of Pragmatics
25: 749761. DOI: 10.1016/0378-2166(95)00027-5
Milroy, James. 2001. Language ideologies and the consequences of standardization. Journal of
Sociolinguistics 5(4): 530555. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9481.00163
Milroy, L. & Muysken, P. (eds). 1995. One Speaker, Two Languages: Cross-Disciplinary Perspec-
tives on Code-Switching. Cambridge: CUP. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511620867
Miyake, Yoshimi. 1995. A dialect in the face of the standard: A Japanese case study. In Proceedings
of the 21st Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, 217225. Berkeley CA: BLS.
Myers-Scotton, Carol. 2000. Code-switching as indexical of social negotiations. In Te Bilingual
Reader, Li Wei (ed.), 137165. London: Routledge.
Nakagawa, K. 1982. Yamaguchi-ken no hoogen (Te dialect of Yamaguchi prefecture). In Kooza
Hoogengaku: Chuugoku, Shikoku-chihoo no Hoogen (Seminar in Dialectology: Dialects of
Chuugoku and Shikoku Areas), Kiichi Iitoyo, Sukezumi Hino & Ryichi Sat (eds), 142
173. Tokyo: Kokushokankokai.
Okamoto, Shigeko. 1999. Situated politeness: Manipulating honorifc and nonhonorifc expres-
sions in Japanese conversations. Pragmatics 8(2): 5174.
Okamoto, Shigeko. 2004. Ideology in linguistic practice and analysis: Gender and politeness in
Japanese revisited. In Japanese Language, Gender and Ideology: Cultural Models and Real
People, Shigeko Okamoto & Janet S. Shibamoto Smith (eds), 113130. Oxford: OUP.
Okamoto, Shigeko. 2008a. Speech style and the use of regional (Yamaguchi) and standard
Japanese in conversations. In Japanese Style Shif [Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 180],
Kimberly Jones & Tsuyoshi Ono (eds), 229249. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Okamoto, Shigeko. 2008b. Te use of regional and standard Japanese in conversations: A
case study from Osaka. In Japanese Applied Linguistics: Discourse and Social Perspectives,
Junko Mori & Amy Snyder Ohta (eds), 132159. New York NY: Continuum.
Okamoto, Shigeko. 2010. Politeness in East Asia. In Handbooks of Pragmatics, Vol. 6: Interper-
sonal Pragmatics, Miriam A. Locher & Sage Lambert Graham (eds), Berlin: Mouton de
Okamoto, Shigeko. 2011. Te use and interpretation of addressee honorifcs and plain forms in
Japanese: Diversity, multiplicity, and ambiguity. Journal of Pragmatics 43: 36733688.
Te use and interpretation of regional and standard variants o
Pennycook, Alistair. 2003. Global Englishes, rip slyme, and performativity. Journal of Sociolin-
guistics 7(4): 513533. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9841.2003.00240.x
Sanada, Shinji. 1996. Chiiki-go no Dainamizumu: Kansai-hen (Dynamism of Regional Languag-
es: Te case of Kansai). Tokyo: Ofu.
Sanada, Shinji. 2000. Henyoo-suru Osaka-kotoba (Changing Osaka Language). Gengo (Lan-
guage) 29(1): 4953.
Sanada, Shinji. 2002. Hoogen no Nihon Chizu (A Dialect Map of Japan). Tokyo: Koodansha.
Sato, Kazuyuki. 1996. Hoogen-shuryuu-shakai: Kyoosei toshite no Hoogen to Hyoojungo: Tohoku-
hen (Dialect-dominant Society: Coexisting Dialectal and Standard Varieties: Te Case of
Tohoku). Tokyo: Ofu.
Shibata, Takeshi. 1988. Ikite iru Nihon-go: Hoogen tansaku (Living Japanese: Exploring dialects).
Tokyo: Kodansha.
Shibata, Takeshi. 1999[1965]. Te rise and fall of dialects. In Takeshi Shibata: Sociolinguistics in
Japanese Contexts, Tetsuya Kunihiro, Fumio Inoue & Daniel Long (eds), 183206. Berlin:
Mouton. (Translated from the Japanese original published in 1965).
Shibatani, Masayoshi. 1990. Te Languages of Japan. Cambridge: CUP.
Silverstein, Michael. 2003. Indexical order and the dialectics of sociolinguistic life. Language and
Communication 23: 193229. DOI: 10.1016/S0271-5309(03)00013-2
Wei, Li. 2000. Te Bilingualism Reader. London: Routledge. DOI: 10.4324/9780203461341
Yamamoto, Toshiharu. 1982. Osaka-fu no Hoogen. Kooza Hoogengaku: Kinki-chihoo no Hoogen
(Seminar in Dialectology: Dialects of the Kinki Area), Kiichi Iitoyo, Sukezumi Hino &
Ryichi Sat (eds), 196228. Tokyo: Kokushokankokai.
Yasuda, Toshiaki. 1999. Kokugo to Hoogen no Aida: Gengo-koochiku no Seeji-gaku (Between the
National Language and Dialects: Political Science of Language Construction). Kyoto: Jin-
bun Shoin.
Yoneda, Masato. 1997. Survey of standardization in Tsuruoka, Japan: Comparison of results
from three surveys conducted at 20-year intervals. Nihongo Kagaku (Japanese Linguistics)
2: 2439.
accomplishment 154, 155, 204,
205, 234
achievement 153155, 157, 160,
199, 221, 228, 243, 252, 254
activity 38, 45, 153158, 160, 219,
223, 225228, 231, 232, 234,
235, 237, 238, 240, 242, 243,
246, 253, 254, 256, 257
addressee 8, 16, 27, 30, 8689,
9699, 101, 115, 123, 124, 229,
243, 245, 246, 261, 263267,
269276, 302
adjectives 6567, 69, 70, 74, 78,
79, 165, 202, 283, 285
afective 2, 4, 56, 58, 62, 100,
296, 297
stance 296, 297
afliation 228, 231, 233
agent 61, 87, 88, 110, 159, 190
agentivity 3, 159, 160, 167
agreement 114, 115, 168, 169, 209,
213, 221, 227229, 232, 233,
243, 247, 250253, 257, 258
aktionsart 92, 154, 170
alignment 227, 231, 232, 240, 245
allative 7, 171174, 176, 177, 179,
181, 186
allomorph 137139
alternation 20, 23, 137, 138, 152,
190, 294
analogy 7, 144, 149, 150
animator 245
aspect 7, 33, 59, 60, 62, 77, 9193,
102, 105, 108110, 116, 128, 131,
132, 150, 153157, 160, 162, 164,
165, 167170, 173, 176, 178, 195,
238, 254, 296
inherent 154, 169
lexical 154
assisted explaining 239241,
243, 244, 246
atelic 153, 155158
Ausdruck 55, 58, 61
author 25, 39, 41, 42, 80, 116, 176,
183, 245, 246, 255
auxiliary verbs 3739, 50, 228
background information 1316,
30, 35, 198, 217
backgrounding efect 15, 16, 27,
29, 30
back-propagation 160
bare form 42
Basic Child Grammar 159, 160,
benefactive actions 268
beneft transfer 261, 264, 269,
bunsetu-bun 58
causative 153, 154, 161, 162, 170,
173, 219
chinjutsu 86, 88, 105, 108, 256,
clipped form 6466, 68, 70, 81
Coalition Model 163
code 3, 1315, 30, 33, 55, 60,
6265, 69, 70, 72, 75, 78,
93, 126, 275, 279, 280, 282,
293295, 299, 301, 302
switching 279, 280,
293295, 299, 301, 302
cognitive frame 263265, 273,
communicative intent 61, 77
Competition Model 163, 167
complementizer 1315, 20, 21,
23, 24, 3032, 34, 35, 38, 102,
104, 106, 127
compound 137, 139, 141, 143146,
148150, 234
conditional 13, 17, 100, 104, 120,
122, 276
connectionist 160, 161
Grammar 1, 168, 261, 265,
267, 275
grammatical 82, 220, 261,
noun-modifying 262
o-V-suru 261
contextual information 58, 263
contextual participants 265, 275
control 65, 82, 97, 159, 160, 167
conversation analysis 7, 107, 193,
256, 258
corpus 4, 79, 171, 172, 178180,
182184, 186190, 198
creole 154, 155, 167
degrees of subordination 13,
15, 17, 30
deliberate judgment 57
dentatsu 33, 85, 8791, 97, 107
descriptive sentences 55, 56, 58,
61, 62, 76, 77
destination 173, 294
deviations 271, 275, 277
dialect 8, 100, 164, 191, 279282,
284, 293300, 299, 301303
regional 8, 279, 280, 284,
297, 298
neo- 280, 295
dialogue 7, 85, 8789, 9598, 101,
102, 296
direct causation 161, 163
direction 145, 157, 173, 174, 178,
181, 182, 184, 185, 188, 206, 269,
274, 275
direct object 81, 143, 146, 149,
264, 269
disagreement 207, 221, 227, 246,
250253, 257
discourse system 109, 113, 115,
116, 123125, 127
dispreferred action 246, 247,
249, 250, 253
oo Usage-based Approaches to Japanese Grammar
distributional bias 157, 160
distributional learning 159
double judgment 77
dynamic 8, 83, 106, 126, 153156,
158, 160, 168, 189, 190, 202,
224, 226, 279, 280, 284,
emotion 2, 6, 55, 6264, 6870,
75, 7779, 106, 108, 133, 257
empathetic understand-
ing 234238
entitlement 229, 236, 239, 243,
A- 244
AB- 244
B- 244246
modality 112, 117, 118, 126
participants 265, 275
evidential 90, 99, 100, 109, 110,
112, 115, 117120, 124, 126,
127, 158
modality 112, 117120, 124,
126, 127
exclamatory sentences 56
exhaustive listing 74, 77, 78
experience 6, 55, 6072, 7578,
82, 118, 164, 207, 232, 234240,
243245, 254, 275
experiencer 55, 6062, 64, 86,
deictic 79, 262
egocentric 60
emotive 216
one-term 63, 64, 69
pre-linguistic 64, 70
refex 6365, 69, 70, 77,
78, 80
two-term 63, 70, 72, 76, 78
expressive sentences 6, 5563,
74, 7881
external descriptive 59, 76, 77
footing 229, 255, 256
foreground information 1316,
25, 30
foregrounding efect 16, 19, 20,
27, 30
formality 296298
frames 263265, 275
frame semantics 261, 263265,
267, 275, 276
French 85, 87, 153, 155, 301
frequency 3, 7, 35, 97, 135, 148,
149, 153, 161, 166, 170, 171,
180186, 188190
gesture 64, 65, 212, 213, 218, 219,
221, 222
glottal stop 64, 65, 255
grammaticalization 6, 7, 33, 34,
82, 85, 87, 94, 98, 101, 105, 107,
108, 110, 131, 132, 165, 171, 190,
191, 221, 262, 274, 276
(see grammaticalization)
Greek 153
honorifcs 8, 261, 262, 264270,
274277, 296, 297, 302
hyooshutsu 56, 58
iconicity 2, 9, 14, 33, 63, 82, 94
identities 298
imperfective 156158
impression-expressive style 57
feld 298, 301
meanings 280, 297299
order 303
indirect causation 161, 163
indirect speech-acts 61
infection 113, 120, 122, 159, 168
infectional sufxes 127
innateness 153, 163, 165
input 7, 65, 101, 153, 154, 156164,
166170, 175
based prototype
formation 153, 154, 160,
frequency 153, 166, 170
matching model 163, 164
interactional frame 263, 265,
273, 275
interaction and grammar 131,
193, 217, 221, 258
internal expressive sentences 55,
5963, 78, 79
interspeaker variation 284, 285
intersubjectifcation 85, 98100,
108, 274
intersubjective 89, 97, 98, 100,
200, 217, 261, 265
intraspeaker variation 284,
285, 295
introspection 81, 85, 217
irrealis 96, 97, 111, 119122,
irregular past 157
Italian 153, 155, 156, 160, 168,
judgment test 171173, 178, 187
juttai 57
juttei 85, 8791
kandoo-kantai 57
kantan-bun 56
Korean 7, 33, 68, 82, 105, 108,
109, 116129, 131133, 151, 153,
154, 161, 167169, 175, 176,
Language Bioprogram Hypoth-
esis 154, 155, 167
language policy 279
layered structure 89, 90, 133
continuum 165
Lymans Law 137, 141144, 150,
medial wh- 163, 164
mental verbs 94, 95, 97, 98,
100, 101
mitai 37, 4143, 45, 48, 5052,
119, 120, 291
mitenkai-bun 58
auxiliary 39
content 42, 48, 114
epistemic 93, 107, 110, 112,
117, 118, 120, 126, 133
deontic 93, 167
mode pur 58, 62
mode vcu 58, 62
mood 14, 38, 83, 87, 90, 109111,
113116, 119123, 125128, 133
grammatical 109, 110, 119,
122, 123, 126
Index o
indicative 120, 121, 123
subjunctive 121
morpheme boundary 40, 44
morphology 101, 105, 131,
151154, 156, 157, 160162,
167170, 284, 286, 287
multi-layered grammatical
organization 56
multimodal 203, 212
multiunit turn 196, 197, 199, 201,
202, 204207, 209, 211, 213,
216, 217
native speakers 3, 7, 16, 31, 39,
41, 42, 45, 79, 137139, 141, 145,
149, 150, 175, 179, 186, 188, 225,
284, 299
n-desu-tte 42, 45, 51
negative evidence 160, 161, 163
neurological states 55, 63
nominative case 38, 63, 81, 153,
154, 161, 162, 168, 172
object complement clauses 19
other-correction 246, 247, 249,
outcry 55, 57, 60, 6264, 68,
72, 76
overextension 158, 160
partial sentence 58
patient 61, 118
perception 6, 19, 55, 57, 6274,
7681, 93, 99, 111, 118, 129,
perfect 38, 60, 62, 98, 104, 176
perfective 110, 156, 157, 160
performative 258, 265, 267,
269, 273
pidgin 154, 167
PNPD 155, 157
Polish 162
politeness 100, 130, 273, 275,
276, 296298, 302
speech context 275
pragmatic 3, 14, 27, 34, 41, 59,
94, 105, 108, 132, 172, 190, 219,
261264, 268, 273, 275, 284,
294, 296
accommodation 27
preferred action 246, 247, 250,
preliminary to preliminar-
ies 201
progressive 38, 86, 153, 156158,
160, 164, 168, 170, 276, 283,
285, 292, 293
projection 93, 203, 220, 222,
226, 253
pronominal case 153, 154, 160
proposition 30, 31, 37, 43, 44,
48, 50, 56, 70, 73, 78, 8789,
91, 9395, 99, 103, 110, 112115,
128, 132, 229, 264
propositional 7, 37, 38, 42, 48,
85, 87, 88, 104, 105, 112, 114, 115,
128, 264, 265
content 42, 48, 114, 128,
modality 112
proposition-making func-
tion 56
prospective indexical 193, 197,
202, 205, 216
prototype 153, 154, 159165,
169, 170
pseudo-oral communication 39
psychological distance 24, 25, 30
punctual 122, 155158, 160
rashii 37, 4143, 4648, 5052,
realis 111, 120, 123, 126128
real-world knowledge 262
Received Pronunciation 297
receptor 55, 61, 62, 65, 68, 7072,
75, 77, 78
recontexualized 296
referent 3, 8, 46, 93, 263274, 283
regionality 297, 298
regular past 157
relative clause 153, 154, 162, 262
revelation type 58
self-correction 247, 250, 258
self-organizing network 160
semelfactive 155
sentence-fnal particles 21, 23,
32, 34, 89, 109, 115, 123125,
127, 128, 228
sentence focus 70
soliloquy 7, 85, 8789, 9598,
101, 102, 296
soo 22, 23, 29, 39, 4143, 46, 50,
51, 60, 112, 117, 119, 120, 195,
204, 207, 208, 230232, 244,
248250, 267, 272, 290, 292, 293
SPD 155158
speech act verbs 9395, 97, 98,
100, 101, 107, 108
speech community 299
speech contexts 264, 275
stance/perspective sharing 229,
232, 235, 236, 243
standardization 279, 280, 288,
297, 298, 300, 302, 303
Standard Japanese 8, 83, 176,
279, 280, 293, 297, 302
state 6, 19, 25, 37, 39, 4143, 45,
46, 48, 49, 58, 59, 64, 67, 68,
75, 77, 78, 80, 82, 91, 93, 94, 99,
101103, 113115, 154156, 158,
159, 164, 173, 185, 198, 202, 230,
247, 262, 268, 300, 302
stative 40, 107, 154, 156, 158,
159, 162, 164, 170, 283, 285,
292, 293
stimulus 55, 6165, 6775, 77, 78,
176178, 191
style 45, 57, 82, 106, 121, 169, 214,
295, 296, 298, 301, 302
style-management 298
subject-predicate sentence 57
subordinate clauses 1315, 17, 18,
30, 31, 122
telic 153, 155158, 160
tense 7, 38, 59, 60, 62, 63, 86, 90,
91, 102, 103, 105, 109111, 116,
120, 128, 131, 132, 153158, 160,
162, 164, 165, 167170, 173, 176,
178, 238, 245
past 38, 60, 63, 91, 120, 153,
156158, 160, 164, 173
present 59, 60, 62, 86, 103
thetic judgment 7376, 78,
79, 82
transitivity 5, 9, 35, 102, 159, 168
Turkish 153, 155, 156, 158, 167, 170
typology 83, 109, 111, 116, 129,
131, 132
comparative 116, 131
linguistic 111
o8 Usage-based Approaches to Japanese Grammar
unaccusative 161
underdeveloped sentence 58
underextension 157, 160, 165
Universal Grammar 9, 33, 105,
163, 164, 166, 168
usage 16, 8, 9, 17, 34, 3739, 50,
53, 163, 166, 168, 170172, 175,
176, 178, 179, 181183, 187190,
262, 263, 267, 271, 274, 275,
277, 297
based approach 37, 38, 171
based model 163, 168, 190
variant choice 8, 279, 280, 293,
295, 296, 298, 299
variant mixings 287, 288
verbal infection 120, 122
verbal refex 64, 65
voicing 7, 137139, 141, 151, 229,
234, 245