On the meaning of the Japanese passive

  • In her discussion of the Japanese adversative passive, Anna Wierzbicka writes (1988: 260): “The problem is extremely interesting and important both for intrinsic reasons and because of its wider methodological implications. It can be formulated like this: if one form can be used in a number of different ways, are we entitled to postulate for it a number of different meanings or should we rather search for one semantic common denominator (regarded as the MEANING of the form in question) and attribute the variety of uses to the interaction between this meaning and the linguistic or extralinguistic context?” Though it “may seem obvious” that the second stand is “methodologically preferable” (261), she takes the first position and concludes that “the Japanese passive has to be recognized as multiply ambiguous” (286). In the following I intend to show that this view is both wrong and fruitful.

Download full text files

Export metadata

Additional Services

Share in Twitter Search Google Scholar
Author:Frederik H. H. KortlandtGND
Parent Title (German):Acta Linguistica Hafniensia
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2010/07/07
Year of first Publication:2003
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2010/07/07
GND Keyword:Japanisch
Page Number:11
First Page:97
Last Page:108
Korrigierte Version
Source:http://www.kortlandt.nl/publications/art113e.pdf ; (in:) Acta Linguistica Hafniensia, 24, 1992, S. 97-108
Dewey Decimal Classification:4 Sprache / 40 Sprache / 400 Sprache
Linguistik-Klassifikation:Linguistik-Klassifikation: Morphologie / Morphology
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht