Article published in:Formal Evidence in Grammaticalization Research
Edited by An Van linden, Jean-Christophe Verstraete and Kristin Davidse
[Typological Studies in Language 94] 2010
► pp. 225–244
Frequency as a cause of semantic change
With focus on the second person form omae in Japanese
This study argues for a reinterpretation of the linguistic evolution of personal pronouns in the history of Japanese, with special focus on the second person form omae. While prior research has found certain syntactic and semantic differences between Japanese pronouns and Western counterparts, no research projects have analyzed Japanese pronouns from the perspective of grammatical distribution. This study takes a frequency-based approach to reveal the distributional patterns of omae at several historical stages, and shows that frequency serves as a cause of semantic change, providing evidence for the correlations between referential shifting and grammatical roles on the one hand and between frequency and semantic depreciation on the other.
Published online: 25 November 2010
Cited by 2 other publications
No author info given
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