Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and Japanese grammar

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This survey study intends to show the benefits of adopting the functional linguistic perspectives of emphasizing the non-referential and emotive/subjective aspects of language, which are largely neglected in mainstream formalist linguistics. Specifically, this paper will first point out the fact that both Japanese linguist Haga and French linguist Benveniste independently proposed very similar dichotomies, <i>juttei</i> vs. <i>dentatsu</i> (Haga 1954) and subjectivity vs. intersubjectivity (Benveniste 1971[1958]) for their analyses of the non-propositional parts of language. Subsequently, drawing upon published studies, this paper will point out the relevance of these two dichotomies to syntactic organization (predicate order in particular), soliloquy and dialogue (or mental and speech act) dyad, and diachronic change (namely, the unidirectionality in grammaticalization from subjectification &#62; intersubjectification (Traugott 2003).


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