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The Semantics and Syntax of Japanese Adnominal Demonstratives

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Chapter Summary

This chapter aims at clarifying the semantics and syntax of the Japanese adnominal demonstratives a-no, ko-no and so-no, with respect to some recent research on demonstratives and definite determiners. It presents preliminary remarks about the system of Japanese adnominal demonstratives and points out their similarities with English definite articles and demonstratives. The chapter describes their semantic peculiarities on the basis of Löbner, and shows similar phenomena in Salish languages and in Malagasy. It introduces assumptions regarding the semantics and syntax of Japanese adnominal demonstratives, in the wake of some recent proposals on demonstratives, and assesses the validity of these assumptions with respect to some observations from a cross-linguistic perspective. The chapter concludes that the semantic properties were adequately captured when the Japanese adnominal demonstratives are analyzed as a demonstrative phrase located in Noun Phrase (NP)-adjoined position.

Keywords: definite determiners; japanese adnominal demonstratives; Salish languages; semantics; syntax



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