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The Japanese Imperative

Svahn, Axel LU (2016)
Abstract
The present thesis explores Japanese imperative constructions from a general linguistic perspective, as well as examining the imperative as a cross-linguistic object of study.
On the definitional side, a terminological apparatus for the description and analysis of imperatives and directives is presented. It includes the proposal that the range of conventional directive strategies in a language be termed its ‘directive system’.
On the theoretical side, following Jary and Kissine (2014), the position is taken that imperatives likely do not directly encode the illocutionary function of directivity. I put forward evidence from Japanese that may provide an empirical constraint on proposals of universal imperative semantics in terms... (More)
The present thesis explores Japanese imperative constructions from a general linguistic perspective, as well as examining the imperative as a cross-linguistic object of study.
On the definitional side, a terminological apparatus for the description and analysis of imperatives and directives is presented. It includes the proposal that the range of conventional directive strategies in a language be termed its ‘directive system’.
On the theoretical side, following Jary and Kissine (2014), the position is taken that imperatives likely do not directly encode the illocutionary function of directivity. I put forward evidence from Japanese that may provide an empirical constraint on proposals of universal imperative semantics in terms of potentiality. A semantic model is outlined in which the underlying functionality of imperatives is conceived of as the creation of a ‘world gap’ between different mental representations of reality.
A layered model of semantics-pragmatics interaction in Japanese imperatives is then developed. In this model, a non-directive imperative semantics interacts with elements including the state-of-affairs content and an attitudinal component (describable in terms of Pottsian expressive meaning) that derives from the presence/absence of benefactivity and honorification. Qualitative and quantitative evidence is used to argue that different varieties of Japanese imperatives do not have a fixed association with different types of directive illocutionary force (as ‘order expressions’ vs. ‘request expressions’). If viable, my approach supports a general non-directive semantics for the imperative. My analysis of Japanese imperative subjects and Japanese imperatives in reported speech also supports the position that imperatives can embed.
Japanese imperatives are, in addition, discussed from the viewpoint of linguistic change. The focus is on identifying factors that have led to their current functional profile, and on explaining the shifting realization of directivity in Japanese in terms of processes that underlie language change in general.
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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor van der Auwera, Johan, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgien
organization
alternative title
Imperativ i japanskan
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
imperative, directive, semantics, pragmatics, grammaticalization, honorification, benefactivity, directive strategy, directive system, Japanese, imperativ, japanska, semantik, pragmatik, språkvetenskap, lingvistik, grammatikalisering, satstyper
pages
280 pages
publisher
Lund University (Media-Tryck)
defense location
Hörsalen, Språk- och litteraturcentrum, Helgonabacken 12, Lund
defense date
2016-11-12 10:15
ISBN
978-91-88473-06-6
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
5421c544-70b0-4b5c-9bc2-e8d46a589ef2
date added to LUP
2016-09-30 16:37:43
date last changed
2017-01-17 13:52:49
@phdthesis{5421c544-70b0-4b5c-9bc2-e8d46a589ef2,
  abstract     = {The present thesis explores Japanese imperative constructions from a general linguistic perspective, as well as examining the imperative as a cross-linguistic object of study.  <br/>On the definitional side, a terminological apparatus for the description and analysis of imperatives and directives is presented. It includes the proposal that the range of conventional directive strategies in a language be termed its ‘directive system’.  <br/>On the theoretical side, following Jary and Kissine (2014), the position is taken that imperatives likely do not directly encode the illocutionary function of directivity. I put forward evidence from Japanese that may provide an empirical constraint on proposals of universal imperative semantics in terms of potentiality. A semantic model is outlined in which the underlying functionality of imperatives is conceived of as the creation of a ‘world gap’ between different mental representations of reality.  <br/>A layered model of semantics-pragmatics interaction in Japanese imperatives is then developed. In this model, a non-directive imperative semantics interacts with elements including the state-of-affairs content and an attitudinal component (describable in terms of Pottsian expressive meaning) that derives from the presence/absence of benefactivity and honorification.  Qualitative and quantitative evidence is used to argue that different varieties of Japanese imperatives do not have a fixed association with different types of directive illocutionary force (as ‘order expressions’ vs. ‘request expressions’). If viable, my approach supports a general non-directive semantics for the imperative. My analysis of Japanese imperative subjects and Japanese imperatives in reported speech also supports the position that imperatives can embed.<br/>Japanese imperatives are, in addition, discussed from the viewpoint of linguistic change. The focus is on identifying factors that have led to their current functional profile, and on explaining the shifting realization of directivity in Japanese in terms of processes that underlie language change in general.<br/>},
  author       = {Svahn, Axel},
  isbn         = {978-91-88473-06-6},
  keyword      = {imperative,directive,semantics,pragmatics,grammaticalization,honorification,benefactivity,directive strategy,directive system,Japanese,imperativ,japanska,semantik,pragmatik,språkvetenskap,lingvistik,grammatikalisering,satstyper},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {10},
  pages        = {280},
  publisher    = {Lund University (Media-Tryck)},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {The Japanese Imperative},
  year         = {2016},
}