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Chapter Summary

In Western Old Japanese adjectives form a transitional class between nominals and verbs in contrast to Modern and Middle Japanese, where adjectives are best defined as a special subclass of verbs, namely quality verbs. Second, while in Middle Japanese the attributive and predicative functions are strictly differentiated between attributive form -ki and final predication form -si; this is not the case for Western Old Japanese, where especially -si can have an attributive function. Similar to Western Old Japanese, adjective stems can also be used in Eastern Old Japanese to modify following nouns or noun phrases. Thus, it seems that a construction that allowed an uninflected adjectival stem to be used as a modifier of following nouns and noun phrases represents an archaism in all branches of Japonic. The infinitive -ku is also attested throughout Ryukyuan, as a non-final predicate and an adverbial modifier.

Keywords: adjectival stem; adjectives; inflected adjectives; Japonic; Ryukyuan



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