Diachrony of Personal Pronouns in Japanese
A functional and cross-linguistic perspective
Personal pronouns in Japanese form a heterogeneous category. This book investigates their historical development from a functional perspective. It shows that while nouns give rise to personal pronouns through semanticization of pragmatic inferences, the use of non-nominal forms such as demonstratives and reflexives for person referents can be resolved within their original functions, offering little reason to treat them as personal pronouns. The cross-linguistic investigation into the common sources of personal pronouns reveals that the development of personal pronouns from nouns is largely consistent with grammaticalization, but that of forms of non-nominal origins requires separate mechanisms such as spatial/empathetic perspectives and displacement of semantic features for politeness, showing that a one-size-fits-all approach to diachrony of personal pronouns is not sufficient. This book will be of special interest to researchers and students in historical linguistics, pragmatics, and Japanese linguistics, who take a functional view of language.
[Current Issues in Linguistic Theory, 344] 2019. ix, 173 pp.
Publishing status: Available
© John Benjamins
Table of Contents
Preface and acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Noun-based forms
Chapter 3. Demonstrative-based forms
Chapter 4. Principles of person shift
Chapter 5. Diachrony of personal pronouns in functional and cross-linguistic perspectives
Chapter 6. Conclusion
“The Japanese pronoun system can be characterized by its large inventory of forms with various sociolinguistic meanings. Using rich Japanese historical written documents and current theories of grammaticalization, this book offers functionally and typologically oriented perspectives on pronouns in Japanese and pronouns in general. The book will serve as an important resource for both scholars of Japanese linguistics and general researchers of grammaticalization.”
Shoichi Iwasaki, Ph.D., UCLA
“Osamu Ishiyama’s book provides a wealth of data on the historical development of Japanese personal pronouns and promises to be an invaluable source of information for researchers of historical linguistics and functional-typological linguistics.”
Prof. Dr. Kaoru Horie, Nagoya University
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Subjects & Metadata
BIC Subject: CFK – Grammar, syntax
BISAC Subject: LAN009060 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Syntax