Focus system of the Japanese benefactive auxiliaries <i>kureru</i> and <i>morau</i>

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This paper provides a novel analysis of two benefactive auxiliaries in Japanese, <i>kureru</i> and <i>morau</i>, arguing that the difference between them is agent focus vs. agent defocus. The analysis of collected data reveals the shortcomings of previous grammatical accounts that posit that a speaker&#8217;s selection of auxiliaries is based on whether or not the speaker has requested a favor. However, our data indicate that the presence/absence of a request for a favor has little to do with word choice. Instead the degree to which the speaker wishes to draw attention to either the favor or the agent providing it determines the choice of one benefactive auxiliary form over the other.


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