Files in this item



application/pdf9543713.pdf (4MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Pragmatics and distribution of the Japanese reflexive pronoun zibun
Author(s):Sakakibara, Sonoko
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Green, Georgia M.
Department / Program:Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:This dissertation provides a hypothesis on the nature of Japanese reflexive pronoun zibun 'self' which explains the distribution of zibun without employing previously proposed syntactic conditions. It claims that zibun is a simple nominal expression with reflexive meaning and which is specified for number but not specified for person and gender, and that constraints on its use are a consequence of conversational implicates that its use occasions. Zibun is a "marked alternative" over other pronominals (Horn 1984). Thus, the use of zibun draws attention to the fact that the speaker believes that the sameness that the reflexive property entails is noteworthy (significant, relevant). In order to rationalize the speaker's belief that the sameness is significant, the hearer tries to find out why informing that is important. The dissertation argues that hearers infer that the speaker believes that responsibility or emotion of the referent should be emphasized for some reason. The dissertation shows that the use of zibun predictably conversationally implicates that a speaker believes that the referent is responsible for or emotionally affected by the action, event or state, described in the proposition represented by some clause in which zibun occurs. There is no syntactic constraint on the antecedent of zibun. Rationales for the pragmatic-only analysis are; (i) some occurrences of zibun which have been categorized as unacceptable by previous syntactic conditions are in fact acceptable when they occur in appropriate contexts, (ii) syntactic conditions on the antecedent of zibun are not necessary, and (iii) the distribution of zibun cannot be explained without pragmatic conditions. The hypothesis makes predictions that; (i) the grammatical relation of the antecedent of zibun is not crucial to license occurrences of zibun, and, (ii) when it is not appropriate to express referent's responsibility or emotional state for some reasons, speaker may avoid to use zibun so as not to appear inappropriate (assuming rational speakers are following the Cooperative Principle (Grice 1975)). The dissertation reaches the conclusion that the pragmatic hypothesis can reasonably explain actual data of zibun which have been wrongly ruled out previously, and it also account for the unexplained phenomena of zibun which involves politeness considerations.
Issue Date:1995
Rights Information:Copyright 1995 Sakakibara, Sonoko
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9543713
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9543713

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics