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Noun-Modifying Constructions in Japanese

A frame semantic approach

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Abstract

This study examines the clausal noun-modifying construction (NMC) in Japanese, a much-discussed construction that embraces what have usually been called relative clause and noun complement constructions. Drawing upon a broad range of naturally-occurring NMCs, including types that fall outside the domains of relative clause and noun complement constructions, Yoshiko Matsumoto argues for an analysis of NMCs that gives an important role to semantics and pragmatics. The framework in which this approach is presented draws from, and further refines, concepts of frame semantics. By using a frame semantic definition of semantic integration, the author reveals the commonality of diverse types of NMCs in Japanese, and posits a tripartite classification of NMCs which is both more comprehensive and more revealing than the traditional dichotomy between relative clause and noun complement constructions.<br />As the first comprehensive and systematic study in English of Japanese NMCs with diverse lexical heads, this work is further notable for its detailed discussion of the dependence of NMCs on both linguistic and extra-linguistic context.

Subjects: Semantics; Theoretical linguistics; Syntax; Japanese linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Stanford University

References

http://jbenjamins.metastore.ingenta.com/content/books/9789027281951
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