Honorification and light verbs in Japanese
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
This paper deals with the syntactic structure of subject-honorific and object-honorific constructions in Japanese through a detailed examination of the morphological make-up of the so-called honorific form of verbs. The main claim is that the honorific form of verbs actually consists of separate morphemes, which include honorific prefixes, verb stems, nominalisation suffixes, and light verbs. We further argue that the honorific prefix o-, which has been generally disregarded in previous literature, is a functional category which heads its own projection. The proposed analysis solves a long-standing problem in the investigation of Japanese honorific constructions, as to why honorific verbs cannot be separated from light verbs, originally pointed out by Harada (1976). Furthermore, this analysis shows how the syntactic distinction between the light verbs naru and suru leads to the meaning difference between the subject-honorific and object-honorific constructions.
- Bobaljik, J., Yatsushiro, K. (2006) Problems with honorification-as-agreement in Japanese: A reply to Boeckx and Niinuma. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 24: pp. 355-384 CrossRef
- Boeckx, C., Niinuma, F. (2004) Conditions on agreement in Japanese. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 22: pp. 453-480 CrossRef
- Chomsky, N. (1995) The minimalist program. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass
- Chomsky, N. Derivation by phase. In: Kenstowicz, M. eds. (2001) Ken Hale: A life in language.. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, pp. 1-52
- Grimshaw, J., Mester, A. (1988) Light verbs and theta marking. Linguistic Inquiry 19: pp. 205-232
- Harada, S.I. Honorifics. In: Shibatani, M. eds. (1976) Syntax and semantics 5: Japanese generative grammar.. Academic Press, New York, pp. 499-561
- Ivana, A., & Sakai, H. (2006). Honourification in the nominal domain in Japanese: An agreement- based approach. Ms. Hiroshima University.
- Kishimoto, H. Agr and agreement in Japanese. In: Koizumi, M., Oishi, M., Sauerland, U. eds. (1996) Formal approaches to Japanese linguistics 2. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 29.. Cambridge, Mass, pp. 41-60
- Kuno, S. Keigobun no Koozoo [The structure of honorific constructions]. In: Kuno, S., Shibatani, M. eds. (1989) Nihongogaku no Shintenkai [New directions in Japanese linguistics].. Kuroshio, Tokyo, pp. 103-124
- Kuroda, S. Y. (1965). Generative grammatical studies in the Japanese language. PhD dissertation, MIT.
- Lasnik, H. (1999). Verbal morphology: Syntactic structure meets the minimalist program. In Minimalist analysis (pp. 97–119). Oxford: Blackwell.
- Mikami, A. (1970). Bunpoo Shooronshuu [Collection of short papers in grammar] (pp. 95–96). Reprinted 1987. Tokyo: Kuroshio Shuppan.
- Oono, S. (1966). Nihongo no Nenrin [The growth rings of the Japanese language] (pp. 56–67). Reprinted 1999. Tokyo: Shinkoosha.
- Saito, M., Hoshi, H. Japanese light verb construction and the minimalist program. In: Martin, R., Michaels, D., Uriagereka, J. eds. (2000) Step by step: Essays on minimalist syntax in honor of Howard Lasnik.. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, pp. 261-295
- Sakai, H., Ivana, A., Zhang, C. (2004) The role of light verb projection in transitivity alternation. English Linguistics, Nihon Eigo Gakkai [The Japanese Society of English Linguistics] 21: pp. 348-375
- Shibatani, M. (1990) The languages of Japan. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
- Suzuki, T. (1989). A syntactic analysis of an honorific construction o ...-ni naru. In J. Fee & K. Hunt (Eds.), The proceedings of the 8th West Coast conference on formal linguistics (pp. 373–383). Stanford Linguistics Association, CSLI, Stanford University.
- Takita, K. (2005). Nihongo-no Keigobun-no Toogokoozoo [Syntactic Structure of Japanese Honorific sentences]. In Proceedings of the 131st meeting of Linguistic Society of Japan, Hiroshima University, pp. 16–21.
- Toribio, A. J. (1990). Specifier-head agreement in Japanese. In A. L. Halpern (Ed.), The proceedings of the 9th West Coast conference on formal linguistics (pp. 535–548). Stanford Linguistics Association, CSLI, Stanford University.
- Vance, T.J. (1987) An introduction to Japanese phonology. State University of New York Press, Albany
- Honorification and light verbs in Japanese
Journal of East Asian Linguistics
Volume 16, Issue 3 , pp 171-191
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Light verb