Article published in:Linguistic Theory and Empirical Evidence
Edited by Bob de Jonge and Yishai Tobin
[Studies in Functional and Structural Linguistics 64] 2011
► pp. 139–166
Focus system of the Japanese benefactive auxiliaries kureru and morau
This paper provides a novel analysis of two benefactive auxiliaries in Japanese, kureru and morau, arguing that the difference between them is agent focus vs. agent defocus. The analysis of collected data reveals the shortcomings of previous grammatical accounts that posit that a speaker’s selection of auxiliaries is based on whether or not the speaker has requested a favor. However, our data indicate that the presence/absence of a request for a favor has little to do with word choice. Instead the degree to which the speaker wishes to draw attention to either the favor or the agent providing it determines the choice of one benefactive auxiliary form over the other.
Published online: 09 June 2011