This study examines the development of the projector jijitsu ‘the fact is, in fact’ from the earlier nominal predicate jijitsu-nari/dearu/da/desu/dearimasu (fact-copulative verb) in Modern through Present-day Japanese. Evidence from corpus studies suggests that jijitsu undergoes both formal and functional changes from the inside of the sentence as a nominal predicate to the outside of the sentence as a projector, connecting preceding and following information, forming a larger discourse unit. This change is characteristic of ‘constructionalization’ in the sense of Traugott and Trousdale (2013). The nominal predicate use of jijitsu inside the sentence also goes through several formal changes in the choice of copulative verbs over time, i.e. ‘constructional changes’. Constructionalization attested in the history of jijitsu echoes the historical processes of similar constructions in European languages, which means that language users have the potential to make ‘discourse-pragmatic’ sense of a given context, and such a newly emergent sense is likely to be formally realized at the edge of a sentence.
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