Chapter published in:Pragmatics of Japanese: Perspectives on grammar, interaction and culture
Edited by Mutsuko Endo Hudson, Yoshiko Matsumoto and Junko Mori
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 285] 2018
► pp. 75–98
The form and meaning of the dangling mitaina construction in a network of constructions
In recent years the use in Japanese of the prenominal form mitaina of the evidential expression, mitaida ‘(it) look(s) like,’ has been observed at the utterance final position with no noun following it. The pragmatic function of this apparently innovative construction has been described in terms of the speakers’ distancing from a vivid and engaged description in the preceding clause. This chapter suggests as an alternative analysis of the construction, based on spoken and written data, that mitaina signals the speaker’s stance, conveying his/her impressionistic and vivid description of the situation described in the preceding component. The pairing of the form and meaning makes this construction a full-fledged grammatical construction in terms of Construction Grammar, rather than an idiosyncratic phenomenon.
Keywords: Construction Grammar, constructionalization, pragmatics, innovative, mitaina , stance, complementizer, quotative, evidential, Japanese
Published online: 16 April 2018
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