Reintroducing inverse constructions in Japanese
This paper reexamines the Japanese deictic verb <i>kuru </i>“to come” within the RRG framework and argues that its auxiliary use should be analyzed as a kind of inverse marker, elaborating on Shibatani (e.g., 2003). We show that the division of labor between the active-passive system and the direct-inverse system in Japanese involves complicated pragmatic factors. Specifically, it is when a Privileged Syntactic Argument (PSA) is topical but there is another participant that outranks PSA on the person hierarchy (usually speaker or hearer) that the direct-inverse paradigm is obligatorily used, although it may be optionally employed when a PSA is in focus domain. The present study adds a new insight to the growing body of studies on inverse phenomena (Payne 1994), as well as to the typology of PSAs proposed in rrg.