Grammar of the internal expressive sentences in Japanese

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&#8216;Internal expressive sentences&#8217; such as <i>a! itai</i> &#8216;Oh, it hurts,&#8217; or <i>aa yokatta</i> &#8216;Oh, I&#8217;m so happy!,&#8217; reveal directly what the speaker perceives or senses internally, and contrast sharply with &#8216;descriptive sentences,&#8217; such as <i>taroo wa kuma o uchitometa</i> &#8216;Taro shot the bear.&#8217; This distinction has been noted in both Japanese and European languages but has not received much attention in linguistics in general. This paper explores this neglected type of sentence in terms of their morphosyntactic patterns (co-occurrence with outcry vocalization, such as <i>a!, aa, waa</i>, restricted predicate forms, the clipped adjective form, and inability to code an experiencer), semantic primitives labeled as Experience, Stimulus and Receptor, and extralinguistic factors based on neurological states of perception, emotion and feeling.


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