LSJapL 04: A Semiotactic Approach to Modern Japanese

Product no.: ISBN 9783895865336
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A Semiotactic Approach to Modern Japanese

Hetty Geerdink-Verkoren
Leiden University

This book is a rewritten version of the PhD thesis with the same title, presented in May 2008 at Leiden University. In this work the syntax and semantics of Modern Japanese are analyzed while applying the semiotactic theory of C.L. Ebeling. In the first chapter of this work a brief summary is given of Ebeling’s theory and methodology, followed by a summary of the basic characteristics of the Japanese language. In the next chapter various issues that came up when applying this theory to Japanese are discussed and Japanese adjectives and adverbs are analyzed.

The following chapters are devoted to analyzing the particles, classifying them by their functions. In the last three chapters various verbal and nominal constructions are described, such as the passive, potential and causative, as well as verb combinations with the -te form, including -te iru and -te aru, and nominalizations with koto and no. Finally, one complete literary text, a short story by Natsume Sōseki, is analyzed. These semiotactic analyses have demonstrated that there are no indirect objects in Japanese, that the traditional definitions for transitivity do not apply, and that all noun phrases marked by nominative ga should be analyzed as subjects, even when there are two or more particles ga in one sentence.

ISBN 9783895865336. LINCOM Studies in Japanese Linguistics 04. 350pp. 2009.

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