[Lingtyp] Inquiry on Japanese grammar

Tasaku Tsunoda tsunoda at ninjal.ac.jp
Mon Jan 5 10:17:47 UTC 2015

Dear Jianming,

    I am hopeless with corpus studies, and I have sought advice from:

Prof. Dr. Kikuo Maekawa,
Department of Corpus Studies,
National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics

    As mentioned above, I am hopeless with corpus studies, but judging by
Kikuo's advice, it seems that you can make a statistical study of the issue
mentioned below, using the corpora provided by his department. Please see
the following sites:


    I hope this information is useful to you.

Best wishes,

Tasaku Tsunoda

From:  Jianming Wu <wu.jianming2011 at gmail.com>
Date:  2014年12月28日日曜日 20:59
To:  Jean-Christophe Verstraete
<jean-christophe.verstraete at arts.kuleuven.be>
Cc:  <LINGTYP at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Subject:  [Lingtyp] Inquiry on Japanese grammar

Dear typologists,
      The following two questions on Japanese grammar are from a graduate
stuent in my department. I am wondering if you may offer some help for him.
Many thanks! 


Jianming Wu

Institute of Linguisitcs,
Shanghai International Studies University


2.       According to Kamio (1977) and Ishizuka (2008), demonstratives (Dem)
can either precede or follow RCs in Japanese. See below:


(1)     Sono [aniki-ga         katte-ki-ta__]              ringo
(Kamio, 1977)

that brother-NOM buy-come-PAST gap   apple

“That apple which the brother bought.”
(2)     [minna-ga            __  sagasi-teiru]   sono ronbun

everyone-NOM gap  look-for-ASP that paper

“That paper which everyone is looking for.”

Leaving aside the functional differences, I wonder if there is any biased
usage of either configuration (Dem-RC or RC-Dem). In a study published in a
Chinese journal (Japanese Learning and Research), Sheng (2010: 86-94) has
found a significant Dem post-positioning bias in RCs in a Japanese corpus
study. In fact, only 6 instances of Dem-RC configuration were found.
However, the corpus is based on Japanese novels. I have talked to 2
participants after the experiment and they admitted that either
configuration (Dem-RC or RC-Dem) was equally acceptable to them. So I wonder
if the post-positioning bias reported in Sheng (2010) is also due to the
stylistic difference. I have been trying to locate corpus studies based on
the spoken Japanese that bear on this question, but I couldn’t find any
relevant literature in English or Chinese.

Thanks a lot!
Lv Jun"

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