Linguistic manifestations of fictive change participants
Apparent alternations between the accusative and the dative/comitative cases in Korean and Japanese
This paper presents a discourse-pragmatic analysis of event conceptions with an accusative-, dative-, and comitative-marked participant and thereby accounts for somewhat irregular accusative marking in Korean and Japanese. The three cases can basically be analyzed as serving to mark participants in physical or mental events that involve a factive or fictive change as a primary element. The accusative marks a change-constitutive participant (so-called affected or effected entity), while the dative and comitative mark a change-independent participant. Unlike Japanese, Korean exhibits the tendency to extend the accusative case to the marking of an entity that constitutes some fictive change in a discourse-based event conception. In contrast, Japanese is liable to recruit the accusative case in an extended use for the marking of an entity that undergoes a fictive change in the conceptions of mental/bodily experiences. These conceptual characterizations can provide a further explanation for the discrepant and idiosyncratic accusative marking in verb phrases such as ‘ride a bus,’ ‘meet a person,’ ‘come/go to a place,’ and ‘give a person a book.’
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