In this paper, after reviewing the traditional concept of case in Western grammar, I will focus on Yamada’s and Tokieda’s theories and their two-fold use of the category of case. In fact, in most modern and contemporary works on Japanese linguistics and grammar, the category of grammatical case is regularly used to explain the function of the nominal particles (kakujoshi). However, in the Japanese scholarship no defnition of the category of case is usually provided. This category in the Western literature can be recognized either on exclusively functional basis (linking it only to the function of the NP or its relation with the predicate), or on both formal and functional levels, in which case is identifed only if there are bound sufxes with allomorphs. However the category of case in Japanese has not only been connected with the relation that nouns have with other elements, as it happens in the Western tradition. The frst usage of this category in Japan is linked to the Christian missionaries (17th century), but in the 19th century it was adopted by the Japanese grammarians, who started to apply it also to the pragmatic level (and the so-called kakari joshi) and to verb tenses. The real turning point was in 1908, when Yamada Yoshio (1873-1958) compiled the Nihon bunpō-ron, in which the concept of case was used in a two-fold way. On the one hand, this category was used to defne a special class of the particles, the ones expressing the case of the noun (ga, ni, wo, and so on); on the other hand, it was broadened to encompass verbs, adverbs, and conjunctions. Thus, in Yamada’s view case became the relation that concept-words have with each other. A similar broad concept was borrowed by Tokieda Motoki (1900-1967), whose idea of case was even wider and included also entire sentences like the exclamatory ones, and rhetorical techniques like makurakotoba. Surprisingly, this idea was not adopted by later scholars nor is it emphasized in the contemporary studies on the category of case in Japan. However, it needs to be considered carefully, as it allows to fully understand the two grammarians’ work, and let many peculiar aspects of the Japanese language emerge, such as the expression of the topic-comment relation, that Yamada seems to overlap to the subject-predicate one.

The broad definition of grammatical case in Japan / D'Antonio, Corinne. - In: RIVISTA DEGLI STUDI ORIENTALI. - ISSN 0392-4866. - 91:(2018), pp. 273-286. [10.19272/201803804015]

The broad definition of grammatical case in Japan

Corinne D'Antonio
2018

Abstract

In this paper, after reviewing the traditional concept of case in Western grammar, I will focus on Yamada’s and Tokieda’s theories and their two-fold use of the category of case. In fact, in most modern and contemporary works on Japanese linguistics and grammar, the category of grammatical case is regularly used to explain the function of the nominal particles (kakujoshi). However, in the Japanese scholarship no defnition of the category of case is usually provided. This category in the Western literature can be recognized either on exclusively functional basis (linking it only to the function of the NP or its relation with the predicate), or on both formal and functional levels, in which case is identifed only if there are bound sufxes with allomorphs. However the category of case in Japanese has not only been connected with the relation that nouns have with other elements, as it happens in the Western tradition. The frst usage of this category in Japan is linked to the Christian missionaries (17th century), but in the 19th century it was adopted by the Japanese grammarians, who started to apply it also to the pragmatic level (and the so-called kakari joshi) and to verb tenses. The real turning point was in 1908, when Yamada Yoshio (1873-1958) compiled the Nihon bunpō-ron, in which the concept of case was used in a two-fold way. On the one hand, this category was used to defne a special class of the particles, the ones expressing the case of the noun (ga, ni, wo, and so on); on the other hand, it was broadened to encompass verbs, adverbs, and conjunctions. Thus, in Yamada’s view case became the relation that concept-words have with each other. A similar broad concept was borrowed by Tokieda Motoki (1900-1967), whose idea of case was even wider and included also entire sentences like the exclamatory ones, and rhetorical techniques like makurakotoba. Surprisingly, this idea was not adopted by later scholars nor is it emphasized in the contemporary studies on the category of case in Japan. However, it needs to be considered carefully, as it allows to fully understand the two grammarians’ work, and let many peculiar aspects of the Japanese language emerge, such as the expression of the topic-comment relation, that Yamada seems to overlap to the subject-predicate one.
grammatical case; kaku joshi; case particles; Yamada Yoshio; Tokieda Motoki; Yamadabunpō; Japanese linguistics; Japanese
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The broad definition of grammatical case in Japan / D'Antonio, Corinne. - In: RIVISTA DEGLI STUDI ORIENTALI. - ISSN 0392-4866. - 91:(2018), pp. 273-286. [10.19272/201803804015]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1191906
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