July 15, 2005: Takuro Tanaka, Japanese Nominative Morpheme as Negative Attitude Expression

[Japanese | English]

4:30pm, July 15, 2005
Collaboration Room 2, 4th floor, Building 18, University of Tokyo Komaba campus.
Takuro Tanaka, University of Connecticut
Japanese Nominative Morpheme as Negative Attitude Expression
It has been said that Japanese has two different nominative morphemes: -ga and -wa. In previous literature a lot of efforts went into studies to distinguish these two morphemes with respect to semantic interpretation of subject NP. These nominative morphemes, however, work not only as case marker. They also work to introduce some conversational force in particular environment. In this talk, I will look into some data where two nominative morphemes -ga and -wa work as conjunction, which connects two identical nouns and provides [N-nom-N] configuration. This particular structure shows up in several kinds of environment, but it has the same conversational force in any cases; utterance of a sentence with [N-nom-N] represents negative attitude of speaker for the situation where the proposition is true. I propose the [N-nom-N] configuration is a kind of attitude expression in terms of Heim (1992) and von Fintel (1999), and its interpretation includes modal operator.

Semantics Research Group
Sponsored by the Center for Evolutionary Cognitive Sciences at the University of Tokyo

Last modified: 2005-07-06 17:03:38 JST