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Title: On the emergence of finite structures from non-finite constructions : evidence from ‘say’ constructions in Japanese
Authors: Tamaji, M
Yap, FH 
Issue Date: 2013
Source: The 10th Biennual Meeting of the Association for Linguistic Typology (ALT-10), August 15-18, 2013, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany How to cite?
Abstract: In this paper, we will examine how some ‘say’ constructions in Japanese develop finite structures from non-finite ones. Diachronic data for our analysis come from the Taikei Honbun Database based on texts from the 8th to 19th century. We will focus on the perfective ihe- and imperfective ihi- counterparts of the ‘say’ verb ifu. Our analysis reveals that the rise and fall of the kakari musubi system (see Ono 1993), which makes a distinction between attributive and conclusive forms, triggered a chain of events in which attributive (non-finite) quotative and evidential ‘say’ forms came to be used as conclusive (finite) structures as well. This extension contributed to the demise of the kakari musubi system. Crucially, from a typological perspective, this extension provides additional insight into strategies by which relativization and nominalization constructions develop into finite clauses (see DeLancey 2011).
Our findings show that between the 8th to 19th centuries there were three major waves of attributive/conclusive contrastive forms within the ‘say’ constructions in Japanese. The to ihe-ru/to ihe-ri forms, which emerged within the perfective to ihe-series, showed a clear attributive/conclusive contrast in the 8th century, but the attributive form soon extended via concessive uses, attested in the 10th century, to conclusive contexts by the 13th century. This gradual blurring of the attributive/conclusive distinction contributed to the disappearance of to ihe-ru/to ihe-ri forms in the 18th century, and ultimately to the demise of the kakari musubi system as a whole.
The other two attributive/conclusive contrastive forms emerged within the imperfective to ihi-series. Tokens of the to ihi-keru/to ihi-keri distinction were first attested in the early 10th century but the attributive to ihi-keru form had already developed conclusive uses as well, thus showing signs of an already blurred attributive/conclusive distinction, with the to ihi-keru form disappearing in the 17th century while the to ihi-keri form lingered on into the 18th century. A similar fate befell the to ihi-taru/to ihi-tari distinction first attested in the 10th century, with the to ihi-taru form disappearing in the 16th century and the to ihitari form surviving longer into the 18th century.
In this paper, we will also examine evidence from the early 10th century showing attributive to ihi-taru forms accompanied by particles frequently associated with nominal constructions. As illustrated in (1) with ni, these particles that typically mark nominal expressions were also being used as markers of subordinate clauses. The presence of these particles provides evidence of a link between the attributive and nominalization and relativization constructions, as well as subordinated clauses, and the drift from attributive-toconclusive uses seen in Japanese provide additional support for the Nominalist Hypothesis that non-finite nominalization constructions frequently develop into stand-alone finite clauses (see Starosta, Pawley & Reid 1982; Kaufman 2009; Yap, Grunow-Harsta & Wrona 2011).
(1) “Kore wa ikaga” to ihi-taru ni, this NOM okay QT.ATTR PRT ‘When (X) said “How is this?”’, tada, “Hayaku ochi ni keri.” to irahe tareba just early fall PRT PERF” COMP reply PERF.COND (Y) simply replied “The flower had fallen early.” (Makura no Sooshi, 996 AD, pp.165)
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