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Title: Information structure in Japanese : scrambling, topicalization and passives
Author: Imamura, Satoshi
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 6163
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2017
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The main purpose of this thesis is to shed new light on Japanese grammar under the framework of the Givónian approach, with special attention to OSV word orders and by-passives: scrambling (OACCSV), topicalization (OTOPSV), ni-passive (S NPNI V), and niyotte-passive (S NPNiyotte V). This approach measures the discourse status of a referent by utilizing anaphoric and cataphoric co-referencing relationships within the texts. However, it is conceivable that OSV word orders and by-passives are also influenced by multiple factors other than information structure. Specifically, previous studies point out the possibility that heaviness and animacy are relevant to this issue. Therefore, the present study performs the corpus analysis, taking three factors into consideration: heaviness, animacy, and information structure. First, OSV word orders have proven to be influenced by information structure and heaviness. In terms of information structure, scrambling correlates 'topic shift' from the referent of the scrambled object to that of the subject. In contrast, topicalization interrelates with 'continuing topic' realized as the referent of the subject. In terms of heaviness, the direct object tends to be longer than the subject in OSV word orders. Yet, animacy has no influence on the choice of word orders. Second, by-passives are affected by information structure and animacy. In terms of information structure, the ni- and niyotte-passives are selected in order to maintain the topic continuity by promoting the topical logical object to the grammatical subject. However, the ni-passive is relevant to global topic whereas the niyotte-passive is related to local topic. In terms of animacy, the ni-passive prefers animate subjects while the niyotte-passive tends to select inanimate subjects. Yet, heaviness is unrelated to the use of by-passives in Japanese. In conclusion, the thesis provides a functional analysis of OSV orders and by-passives from a descriptive and empirical point of view by using a written Japanese corpus. The new data reported contribute to elucidating the argument encoding system of Japanese.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Japanese language ; Linguistics ; Particles ; Word order ; Discourse analysis ; Givo´nian approach ; Corpus analysis