A mini international workshop on the grammaticalization of motion verbs in Japanese

Project Title, Project Leader
Cross-linguistic Studies of Japanese Prosody and Grammar
KUBOZONO Haruo (Professor, Theory & Typology Division, NINJAL)
Subproject Title
Verb semantics
MATSUMOTO Yo (Professor, Theory & Typology Division, NINJAL)
October 30, 2020 (Fri) 20:00-22:00 JST (UTC+9)
Online meeting
Please register online at the following webpage.
Registration form
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20:00"Grammaticalization of deictic motion verbs in Japanese: corpus and experimental data" Artemii Kuznetsov (Institute for Linguistic Studies, Russian Academy of Science, Russia)

As a result of grammaticalization two Japanese constructions containing a ventive (kuru) or an andative (iku) auxiliary verb have developed a wide range of usage types. The goal is to test a hypothesis that the more grammaticalized usage types appeared in the language earlier than the less grammaticalized ones. In order to determine the degree of grammaticalization for each usage type I explore the acceptability of –(r)are– honorification of the two auxiliaries using a questionnaire survey. After that I compare these constructions with diachronically related ones in Old (700–800), Early Middle (800–1200), Late Middle (1200–1600) and Modern Japanese (1600–). The results of the questionnaire survey and corpus analysis partially corroborate the diachronic hypothesis: as far as each verb is considered separately the most grammaticalized usage types prove to be the newest ones (the “inverse” usage for kuru and the distributive usage for iku). However, if the two verbs are put into the same category the diachronic hypothesis does not hold: the inverse usage type, which is the most grammaticalized among all, seems to have developed at an earlier stage than the distributive type, which is synchronically less grammaticalized. This indicates that the two constructions must have developed independently despite the fact that they are often viewed as members of a single category in Modern Japanese.

21:00"From verb semantics to subjectivity: A diachronic analysis of V-V complex-predicate formation and grammaticalization" ABE Sayaka (Middlebury College, USA)

Diachronic research in various languages have revealed striking regularities with regard to semantic relationships between the source lexical items and their grammaticalized counterparts (e.g., Bybee et al., 1994; Heine & Kuteva, 2002; Kuteva et al., 2019). However, the mechanisms of grammaticalization, especially at the beginning stage of the process, remain under-explored. This study examines a process related to grammaticalization, Verb-Verb complex predicate formation, whereby the dependency between two verbal predicates (V1,V2) strengthens over time. The present talk focuses on collected data from literary texts from the Edo Period (extracted from Japan Knowledge and additional collections) that contain the Japanese verb of displacement shimau “to put; finish” as the V2 element, and the grammaticalized -i/-te-shimau, which marks multiple meanings including “completion” and “(speaker’s) regret.” It first outlines two previously proposed mechanisms: 1) reanalysis of two Vs based on their syntactic contiguity (DeLancey1991, Falsgraf & Park, 1994), and 2) association of two Vs based on semantic congruity (Shibatani & Chung, 2007, on deictic verbs iku and kuru). While the attested V1 elements in the data seem to be in favor of the latter (i.e., the majority of them are semantically similar to shimau), my analysis further demonstrates that the spatio-temporal nature of the original semantics of the verb shimau, as well as the notion of subjectivity must be considered to fully assess both possibilities.