Volume 42, Issue 3
  • ISSN 0378-4177
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9978
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Ikema is defined as ‘definitely endangered’ by UNESCO (2009). The study examines an evaluative morpheme used by old Ikema speakers aged 64 to 86 when speaking between Ikema speakers and when speaking Standard Japanese with outsiders. Descriptive grammar of Ikema (Hayashi 2010Hayashi 2013 ) has treated as diminutive morpheme, representing smallness such as ‘small bird’ or showing the affections to the base noun. The observations on naturally occurring data, however, revealed that the Ikema speakers barely used - by means of describing smallness: the most frequent use of was found to be non-supplementary (Shetter 1959) and carries various socio-pragmatic functions. The related meanings/functions of are presented in radial category (Lakoff 1987).


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): diminutive; gendered language; Ikema; radical category
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