ERIC Number: ED401715
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Jan
A Pragmatic Constraint on Particle Conversion in Japanese.
Horie, Kaoru; Saito, Noriko
The grammatical phenomenon in Japanese known as Ga-No conversion is examined. In this phenomenon, the nominative particle "ga" can be converted to genitive particle "no" in embedded sentences with a nominal head such as a relative clause or complementary clause. A pragmatic constraint to this conversion that has not previously been explored is proposed: that the Ga-No conversion fails to apply if the ga-marked subject is a focus of the embedded sentence. Cross-linguistic and theoretical implications are discussed, particularly in the contexts of Korean and English. It is concluded that in Korean, the nominative/genitive particle conversion is so severely restricted at the syntactic and semantic level that there is no room for such a pragmatically motivated constraint. In English, it was found that as in Japanese, genitive-marked subjects are more difficult to focalize than accusative-marked subjects, bearing out the theory proposed here. Contains 21 references. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (70th, San Diego, CA, January 4-7, 1996).