- Количество слайдов: 18
Syntax 4 (Japanese) Ling 400
Japanese (today’s plan) • SOV language (but word-order is free other than the V) • Topic constructions • So-called adversative passives • Long distance reflexives • No wh-movement (on a par with Chinese) • NPs are often omitted unlike English.
English word order English is an SVO language, and the word order is very rigid. Case marking is visible only on pronouns. he/she: nominative (subject) him/her: objective He saw her. But you still cannot say: Her saw he. Without pronouns, case is “invisible”. NP positions give you information about their roles. John saw Mary saw John gave Mary Fido.
Japanese word order John-ga Bill-ni hon-o age-ta. NOM DAT book-ACC give PAST Bill-ni John-ga hon-o age-ta. John-ga hon-o Bill-ni age-ta. Hon-o John-ga Bill-ni age-ta. (? ) Hon-o Bill-ni John-ga age-ta. ‘John gave Bill a/the book(s). ’ Almost all orderings are possible as long as the sentence ends with a verb. Case endings tell you exactly what “roles” the NPs play.
English has no topic marker English has no particle that indicates the topic of a sentence. The closest you can find in English would be expressions like “speaking of …” and “ as for …” Note that such phrases are not required by the verb. Speaking of great movies, the other day I watched Citizen Kane. As for spectator sports, I loved baseball.
Japanese has a topic marker -wa: topic marker; -ga: nominative case marker (1) John-ga hasit-te iru. (2) John-wa hasit-te iru. John run-PROG-PRES ‘John is running’ What is the difference between (1) and (2)? (1) simply describes what is going on. (2) presents John as theme/topic, and goes on to talk about what he is doing now.
In many cases, -wa replaces a case marker (or a postposition). (3) Pizza-o John-ga tabe-ta. (4) Pizza-wa John-ga tabe-ta. pizza John-NOM eat-PAST ‘John ate pizza. ’ -o: accusative case (direct object ) marker (5) Chicago-ni John-ga it-ta. (6) Chicago-wa John-ga it-ta. Chicago John-NOM eat-PAST ‘John went to Chicago. ’ -ni: dative case marker/postposition ‘to’
In some cases, -wa is suffixed after a postposition (7) Chicago-ni John-ga it-ta. (8) Chicago -ni-wa John-ga it-ta. Chicago John-NOM eat-PAST ‘John went to Chicago. ’ -ni: dative case (indidrect object) marker or postposition ‘to’ (9) Chicago-de John-ga pizza-o tabe-ta. (10) Chicago-de-wa John-ga pizza-o tabe-ta. Chicago John-NOM pizza-ACC eat PAST ‘John ate pizza in New York. ’ -de: postposition ‘at/in’
In other cases, -wa comes from nowhere (like speaking of or as for) (11) Sakana-wa tai-ga ii. fish -TOP red sea bream-NOM good. ‘As for fish, red sea bream is good. ’ (12) Are-wa Nixon-ga warui. that-TOP Nixon-NOM bad. ‘As for that (problem), Nixon is to blame. ’ Both ii ‘good’ and ‘warui ‘bad’ are adjectives and only require a subject NP to form a sentence. (13) tenki-ga ii/warui. ‘The weather is good/bad. ’ weather-NOM good/bad
English passives In English passives, the “new subject” can only come from an object NP in an active sentence. John hit Bill -> Bill is hit (by John) John gave Mary flowers -> (i) Mary was given flowers (by John). (ii) Flowers were given to Mary (by John). John studied math at UW. -> *UW was studied math at (by John).
Japanese passives Sometimes, Japanese passives resemble their English counterparts. John-ga Bill-o nagut-ta. ‘John hit Bill. ’ -> NOM ACC hit PAST Bill-ga John-ni nagu-rare -ta. NOM DAT hit PASS PAST ‘Bill was hit by John. ’ PASS: passive morpheme (-rare) An object NP becomes a new subject. The old subject is now a -ni marked (dative-case-marked) NP.
In some cases, the “new subject” does not come from an object NP. ame-ga fut-ta. ‘It rained. ’ -> Rain-NOM fall-PAST John-ga/wa ame-ni fu-rare-ta. rain-DAT fall-PASS-PAST ‘John got rained on. ’ John-ga sin -da. ‘John died’ -> NOM die-PAST Mary-ga John-ni sin-are -ta. NOM DAT die PASS PAST ‘Mary suffered from John’s death’
Adversative Passives Since such passive sentences are used when the subject of the passive sentence suffers from what happened, this type of passive sentence is often referred to as an adversative passive.
Long-distance Reflexives English reflexives MUST be related to another expression (called antecedent) within the minimal sentence. (1) John likes himself. (2) *John said that [Mary likes himself]. (3) * John thinks that [himself is the greatest]. Japanese reflexives can be related to an expression that is outside the minimal sentence. (4) John-wa [Zibun-ga itiban sugoi]-to omot-te iru. John-TOP self-NOM most great think PROG PRES ‘John thinks that he is the greatest. ’
Sometimes, an ambiguous English sentence can be paraphrased in two different ways in Japanese. (5) Every boy thinks that he is the greatest. (6) Syoonen-tati-wa mina [zibun-ga itiban sugoi] to boy -s TOP all self-NOM most great that omot-tei -ru. think PROG PRES ‘Every boy x thinks that x (he himself) is the greatest’ (So they do not agree as to who is the greatest. ) (7) Syoonen-tati-wa mina kare-ga itiban sugoi to boy -s TOP all he -NOM most great that omot-tei -ru. think PROG PRES ‘Every boy x thinks that some particular boy is the greatest’ (So they agree as to who is the greatest. )
No wh-movement in Japanese Just like Chinese, Japanese has no wh-movement. (1) Mary-wa nani -o kat-ta no? (2) Mary-TOP what-ACC buy-PAST Question marker (3) ‘What did Mary buy? ’ (4) (2) John-wa doko-e it -ta no? (5) John-TOP where-to go-PAST Q (6) ‘Where did John go? ’
NPs are often omitted Unlike English, Japanese often drop NPs. (1) A: tabe-ta? (2) (3) B: Tabe-ta. eat PAST ‘Did (you) eat (lunch)? ’ ‘(Yes, I) did. ’ (4) (2) Suki-desu. (5) like PRES (6) ‘(I) like/love (you). ’
Glossary of Abbreviations • • • NOM = Nominative Case (-ga) DAT = Dative Case (-ni) ACC = Accusative Case (-o) PAST = Past Tense (-ta) PRES = Present Tense (-u) PROG = Progressive Form (-te i) TOP = Topic Marker (-wa) PASS = Passive Marker (-rare) Q = Question marker