Classification of Noun-Concluding Sentences from a Syntactic Analysis Perspective

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This paper discusses the problem of ‘noun-concluding sentences’ (NCS) in modern Japanese and aims to systematize classification based on syntactic analysis. An NCS refers to a noun predicate sentence in which the noun of the predicate requires a modification part and does not have an equivalent relation with the subject. The NCS is a special construction both from a linguistic typology perspective and from a Japanese syntax perspective.

NCS cover a wide range of semantic fields, and several classification systems have been attempted. However, because these classifications in the existing research depend on the lexical meanings of nouns of predicates, the individual categories are considered in parallel to each other, making it difficult to perceive a clear picture of relationships between them. This paper, therefore, focuses on a syntactic view of NCS, and on that basis, proposes the establishment of an NCS classification system.

This paper will attempt to show that NCS can be classified into two main groups: those which can take cognitive subjects as their themes (Type I), and those which cannot take cognitive subjects as their themes (Type II). Type I constructions can be further divided into two patterns based on whether the cognitive subject has a person restriction (Type I-1, I-2). Type II constructions also can be further divided into two patterns, those which take cognitive objects as their themes (Type II-1), and those which do not take any themes (Type II-2). Bringing a syntactic perspective to the classification of NCS constructions has therefore made it possible to see the systemicity between the classes.




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