A cognitive approach to Japanese locative postpositions ni and de: A case study of spoken and written discourse
AdvisorTroike, Rudolph C.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study proposes a cognitive network model of the Japanese locative postpositions ni and de (both are translated in English 'in'/'on'/'at') by examining a spoken and written corpus. Specifically, this study examines the implications of Langacker's (1987, 1988, 1999, 2000) dynamic usage-based model by investigating natural discourse data. Within the framework of Cognitive Grammar, it is argued that ni in the spatial domain has two basic usages: (1) stative location and (2) allative (Kabata 2000). The allative ni is a more case marker-like postposition, while de is the prototypical postposition and it marks the conceptualization of a locative setting that references an event (Kumashiro 2000). Previous studies do not discuss, however, the full range of locative usages of de, and do not focus on the subtle semantic difference between these locative postpositions in natural discourse. This study aims to fill in that gap and provide a more complete semantic analysis of the full usage of the locative postpositions based upon natural discourse. This study also addresses functional issues relevant to the actual usage of Japanese locative postpositions in discourse: topic/contrastive marker wa and non-occurrence of postpositions. Overall the results from spoken and written discourse provide supporting evidence for the proposed network model for ni and de: (1) the most frequently appearing senses of ni in the corpus are the prototypical usages of ni, simple stative and allative; (2) de marked different kinds of space from concrete to abstract space, most frequently co-occurring with prototypical dynamic verbs in spoken and written data; (3) some predicates were marked with either ni or de which implies how the speaker construes space in the situation; (4) the main function of wa that follows the locatives in spoken discourse is contrastive, while in written discourse it is a thematic marker; (5) non-occurrence of locative postpositions in systematic and pragmatically as well as functionally predictable. Spoken and written discourse exhibits a broad usage of locative postpositions and thus this study provides a cognitive network model for Japanese locative postpositions.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Second Language Acquisition and Teaching