Chapter published in:Thetics and Categoricals
Edited by Werner Abraham, Elisabeth Leiss and Yasuhiro Fujinawa
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 262] 2020
► pp. 338–350
B-grade subjects and theticity
This study investigates the linguistic subject in categorical and thetic sentences. In the “subjectless” thetic sentence, as Kuroda (1972) pointed out, we have a nonprototypical subject, a B-grade subject, which is preferably combined in Japanese with the nominative marker ga. By contrasting B-grade subjects in Japanese with their corresponding expressions in German (and other languages), we discover two types of subjects, internal and external. In Japanese, B-grade subjects are realizations of internal subjects, which are verbalized differently in other languages as a subject, as a dummy subject, or an object. Comparing different realization forms of weather expressions crosslinguistically, we suggest that the language-specific realizations of B-grade subjects correspond to three types of thetic judgments: entity-central, event-central, and mixed type of both.
Keywords: subjecthood, thetic judgment, categorical judgment, Japanese, German, topic
Published online: 22 July 2020
1972/1979 The categorical and the thetic judgment. Evidence from Japanese syntax. Foundations of Language 9: 153–185. (In this paper, the quotations from 1979 are from his anthology The (W)hole of the Doughnut: Syntax and its Boundaries [Studies in Generative Linguistic Analysis 1]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Original publisher E. Story-Scientia.)
2012 Zur Typologie der Witterungs-, Klima- und daran angrenzenden Prädikate-unter besonderer Berücksichtigung des Deutschen und des Japanischen. In Unpersönliche Konstruktionen. Prädikatinsformen functional und sprachübergreifend betrachtet, Angelika Redder, Akio Ogawa & Shinichi Kameyama (eds), 201–212. München: iudicium.
Cited by 2 other publications
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