LINGUIST List 5.1155

Fri 21 Oct 1994

Sum: Japanese particles

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  1. Koichiro Kobayashi, Re: Summary: Are Japanese particles clitics?

Message 1: Re: Summary: Are Japanese particles clitics?

Date: Wed, 19 Oct 94 22:45:38 EDRe: Summary: Are Japanese particles clitics?
From: Koichiro Kobayashi <>
Subject: Re: Summary: Are Japanese particles clitics?

Dear staff,

I've received a few responses, but I will send you all of them below;


 Klavans, Judith L. (1985)
 The Independence of Syntax and Phonology in Cliticization
 Language: 61: 95-120

 Klavans, Judith L.
 A forthcoming article
 in Garland series


 I know no literature, but they are clitics, which means phonologically depen-
 dent on the word to which they are attached. Thus wa is low-pitched following
 a final accent and high-pitched after an accented word.
 Yours, Karl
 (Karl V. Teeter, Professor of Linguistics, Emertius, Harvard University)

 I read your posting on Linguist today and have one short comment to offer.
 The term "clitic" is now being used ambiguously. (i) in the traditional
 sense of Romance ling., the term clitic refers to a weak form of pronoun
 that's used to substitute an argument (hence the complementarity of argu-
 ment NP and the corresponding clitic except the so-called clitic-doubling
 case). Under that definition, Japanese particles cannot be called clitics.
 (ii) The second sense seems to me to be used mainly by East Asian linguists
 (and not the mainstream view of the term "clitic") to refer to the functional
 categories that appear to be attached either in front of or after (i.e. pro-
 cliticized or encliticized). Under this sense, there is assumed to be a move-
 ment (head-movement I suppose) that cliticizes the functional category to
 another (lexical?) category. Is there evidence to support the argument that
 Japanese particles undergo head-movement? If there is (I really don't know),
 the process is more akin to the Tense and Agreement raising rather than
 cliticization of weak pronouns. But Tense / Agreement raising was never con-
 sidered as clitics in the literature, partially because of the definition in
 (i). Why bother calling Japanese particles as Japanese particles as clitics?
 After all, not all heads are clitics.

 Kuo-ming Sung
 Dept. of East Asian Languages and Cultures
 Lawrence University.

That's all I've received until now. In fact, I asked the same question to one
of my teacher (who is a phonologist). She told me that Japanese particles are
actually clitics from the phonological point of view. I'm not sure about this,
because I'm now researcing this topic. If I have any idea about this topic, I
will send another message to you.

Anyway, I'm so sorry to forget to sending the responses to you, the staff.
And I appreciate your good advice. Thank you.

Koichiro Kobayashi
A graduate student of Linguistics
the University of Georgia
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