Article published in:Usage-based Approaches to Japanese Grammar: Towards the understanding of human language
Edited by Kaori Kabata and Tsuyoshi Ono
[Studies in Language Companion Series 156] 2014
► pp. 261–278
Context in constructions
Variation in Japanese non-subject honorifics
This paper illustrates the importance of context for grammar by examining discourse data of the nonsubject honorific construction o – Verb (stem) – suru. Building upon previous studies that argued that non-subject honorifics are subject to a pragmatic condition of benefit transfer between the subject and nonsubject referents, I argue that the targeted referents of nonsubject honorification are reorganized to the two participants of the discourse: the speaker and the addressee. The variations in the o-Verb (stem) – suru form are explained from the constructional and frame semantics perspectives as a process of cognitive and intersubjective (e.g., Traugott and Dasher 2002) reorganization of grammatical constructions motivated by contextual conditions of use and the speaker’s intention with respect to the addressee.
Published online: 10 June 2014
Bunka cho (Bureau of Culture)
Dasher, Richard Byrd
Kokuritsu Kokugo Kenkyujo (The National Language Research Institute)
Laury, Ritva & Ono, Tsuyoshi
McCawley, James D.
Traugott, Elisabeth Closs
Traugott, Elisabeth Closs & Dasher, Richard Byrd