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The Past Tenses of Early Middle Japanese
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Japanese.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Early Middle Japanese is one of the oldest attested stages of Japanese.

Its rich legacy consists of several literary works from the Heian era (7

th

to 11

th centuries), some of which are still appreciated and widely read

today. Despite a long tradition of research both within and outside

Japan, quite a few details of the language remain incompletely

understood. The present study addresses a long-standing question in

the verbal domain of Early Middle Japanese, namely the semantics of

the two so-called “past tenses” in

-ki and -ker-. I tested the major

hypotheses regarding their use by means of qualitative, corpus-based

methods. Specifically, I trained a machine learning algorithm to

predict which is likeliest of

-ki and -ker- given a set of grammatical and

semantic variables. Analysis of the results indicates that the suffixes

likely embody a contrast between witnessed and non-witnessed past

tense. It is also possible that mirativity—the grammaticalized

expression of surprise at learning something unexpected—and aspect

influence the choice of past tense suffix.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Early Middle Japanese, evidentiality, aspect, corpus linguistics
National Category
Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-29462OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-29462DiVA, id: diva2:1287659
Available from: 2019-02-11 Created: 2019-02-11

Open Access in DiVA

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf