AAS Annual Meeting

Interarea/Border-Crossing Session 638

[ Interarea/Border-Crossing Sessions, Table of Contents | Panels by World Area Main Menu ]

Session 638: Linguisitcs II

The De Dicto Complementizers in Japanese
Saeko Ogihara, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

The aim of this paper is to examine the semantic functions of the two de dicto complementizers, to and tte, in Japanese. Both complementizers belong to the same semantic domain of de dicto, in which the proposition in the complement clause belongs to the domain of speech, rather than the domain of de re, in which the proposition belongs to the domain of reality (Frajzyngier, 1991). Because of the similarity in form and meaning as well as interchangeability in certain contexts, tte is often considered to be a casual or colloquial version of to in traditional Japanese grammar. Also, they are often called quotative markers whose function is to mark elements as quotation. However, the present paper argues that tte is not a colloquial counterpart of to, but has its own function independent from that of to. Furthermore to and tte are not merely quotative markers, but instead markers of modality whose main function is to code the modality of propositions in complement clauses. The function of to is to encode the uncertainty or hypothetical nature of a proposition. On the other hand, the function of tte is to encode the non-hypothetical nature of the proposition. Evidence for the analysis is supported by the fact that most instances of to occur with verbs of thinking, while the majority of tte occur with verbs of saying in conversational data. The present analysis attempts to explain why in certain occurrence tte cannot be replaced by to, and vice versa. References Frajzyngier, Zygmunt. 1991. The de dicto domain in language. In: Elizabeth Closs Traugott and Bernd Heine, eds., Approaches to gramamticalizaition, vol. 1, 219-251. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Comparative Analysis of the Chinese Translations of the Heart Sutra
Sunyoung Oh, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

The Heart Sutra (prajnaparamita sutra) is one of the most beloved and important scriptures in Mahayana Buddhism. While classical Indian languages such as Pali and Sanskrit were mostly used in Buddhist scriptures, Tibetan and Chinese also played significant roles in the preservation of the Buddhist canon. For instance, Mahayana Buddhism was introduced to Korea and Japan with the Chinese translated versions of Buddhist texts largely done by great monk translators. It was the Chinese translation, rather than the original texts in Sanskrit, that contributed to the spread of Buddhism in Korea and Japan. Not only were the Chinese versions of Buddhist texts reborn with the extension of the influence of Taoism and secular beliefs in Far East regions, they also presented significant linguistic values such as contrastive phonology, semantic and phonetic etypomogy. In this paper, the transliterations and translations of the Heart Sutra in Chinese will be reviewed and compared with the Korean and Japanese versions of Chinese texts. Using text analysis and rendition techniques, the pronunciations of Sino-Korean, Chinese, and Japanese of today are compared for the phonetic translation accuracy as well as etymological process. The paper attempts to find a linguistic explanation of translation errors which were neglected in the Korean versions for a long time. Further, the paper discusses an indigenous adaptation of oral literature into Buddhist texts and its implications for the cultural aspects of Buddhism in Korean society.

What is a Word? A View from Negation in Chinese Morphology
Hio Tong Chan, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

This paper presents the corpus-based results in respect to characterize the grammatical distribution of Chinese negation system. Comparing the negation systems of English and Chinese, there are relatively few morphological negative particles used in English like ‘not(-n't)’, whereas many negators were found in Chinese such as bu, mei(you), bie, mo and xiu. Various Chinese negators present identical functions and usages, and thus they can be either replace or complementary to each other according to certain contextual environments. Hence, the present study aims to explore the phenomena on why so many Chinese negation markers in Mandarin Chinese. Beside, previous studies mainly focus on the principle and commonly used negators bu and mei(you) as they reveal grammatical features of negation in Chinese. To have a macroscopic overview towards the entirely of Chinese negation system, fourteen negators are going to be explored based on a corpus-based study. The authentic corpora as the useful resources to provide the evidence in investigating and testifying the proposed study of Chinese negation, with the purpose of making a linkage between theory-driven and data-driven approaches to linguistics. This approach also shows a valuable demonstration for investigating various linguistic researches. The statistical distribution shown in this present study is anticipated to provide the typical functions and usage of the whole Chinese negation system.