Dossier Acta Litt&Arts : La traduction du savoir et ses méthodes

HAN Luo

Analysis of Kaki-Ryōri Construction by Mental Space Theory

Texte intégral

1. Introduction

1Among Japanese Multiple-subject Construction ‘X wa Y ga Z (da)’, there exists the so-called ‘Kaki-Ryōri Construction (kaki-ryōri wa hiroshima ga honba da)’. Because there is a semantic correspondence relation between Kaki-Ryōri Construction and the specificational sentence ‘Y ga X no Z da’, the conditions on the formation of this construction have often been explained related to the semantic relations of ‘X no Z’, which is the predicate portion of the specificational sentence, especially the (non)saturation of the NPs ‘Z’.

2While in recent years, it is pointed out that even if ‘Z’ is semantically saturated, when ‘Z’ is interpreted unsaturatedly by contexts, similar cases to Kaki-Ryōri Construction can be made as a consequence. Several attempts have so far been made to investigate those cases. What seems to be lacking, however, is that no study has given an overall explanation to all cases corresponding to Kaki-Ryōri Construction.

3The aim of this research is to cast light upon how to subsume all cases corresponding to Kaki-Ryōri Construction, including those been considered exceptional, under more general conditions within the framework of mental space theory. Mental space theory is a theory created by Prof. Fauconnier, aiming for dynamic language understanding by integrating semantics and pragmatics. This theory captures language meaning ultimately from the viewpoint of interpretation of utterances within the context, and takes a standpoint of procedural semantics as a directive to build a mental representation in which utterances are called mental spaces.

2. Previous research

2.1. Kaki-Ryōri Construction and unsaturated noun

4Kaki-Ryōri Construction is considered to be one form of the ‘X wa Y ga Z (da)’ Construction as follows.

  • 1 The words shown in boldface in sample sentences as in (1) are main function...

(1) a. Kaki-ryōri     wa   Hiroshima   ga    honba         da1.
        
oyster-cuisine  TOP  Hiroshima  NOM  place.of.origin  COP
        ‘For oyster-cuisine, Hiroshima is the place.’

      b. Kono  kanja    wa   watashi  ga     syujii          da.
        this   patient   TOP   I      NOM  doctor.in.charge  COP
        ‘As for this patient, I am the primary doctor.’

5There are two main characteristics need to be mentioned of this construction. One is that the overall structure is a predicational sentence which involves the attribution, or addition of a property ‘Y ga Z da’ to the subject noun phrase ‘X’, whose referent has been already identified independently of that property. The other characteristic is that the predicate portion expressing the attributes itself, ‘Y ga Z da’, has the structure of a specificational sentence, which can be generally paraphrased as ‘if you ask which the Z of X is, it is Y’.

  • 2 Here, we use the description of the topic marker ‘Wa’ in Kikuchi (1995, 199...

  • 3 In this situation, watashi ‘I’ is the only thing to be listed corresponding...

6The distinction between predicational and specificational sentence has been discussed from a number of different perspectives (Kanbayashi 1988, Noda 1996 and Nishiyama 2003, etc.), since it was pointed out by Mikami (1953). Although, there are no generally accepted definitions of these two types of sentence, about their distinctive opposition, there are two points worth mentioning: predicational sentence has the form of ‘A wa B da’, and it’s establishing condition is ‘B functions as meaningful information of A’; specificational sentence has the form of ‘A ga B da’ or ‘B wa A da’, and it’s establishing condition is ‘everything corresponding to B is listed by A’2. Take (1b) for example. The predicate portion watashi ga syujii da ‘I am the primary doctor’ functions as meaningful information of the subject kono kanja ‘this patient’ and the overall structure is considered to be a predicational sentence. Meanwhile, in the predicate portion, things corresponding to (kono kanja no) syujii ‘(this patient’s) primary doctor’ are listed by watashi ‘I’3, and the predicate portion has the structure of a specificational sentence.

7Let us now turn to Kaki-Ryōri Construction. This construction, according to Noda (1981), may be regarded as a result of taking ‘X(no)’ out of ‘Y ga X no Z da’ and put it at the front of the sentence as a topic marker, but this sort of topiclization is not allowed at all times.

(2) a.  Watashi  ga     kono  kanja    no    syujii          da.
     I       NOM   this   patient  GEN  doctor.in.charge  COP
     ‘I am the primary doctor of this patient.’

      b.  Kono  kanja    wa   watashi  ga     syujii          da.
         this   patient   TOP   I      NOM  doctor.in.charge  COP
         ‘As for this patient, I am the primary doctor.’

(3) a.  Kore  ga    watashi  no   megane  da.
     this   NOM  I      GEN  glasses  COP.
         ‘These are my glasses.’

      b. ? Watashi  wa   kore  ga    megane  da.
         I        TOP  this  NOM  glasses  COP
        ? ‘As for me, these are glasses.’

  • 4 Similar content of this argument has been stated in Kikuchi (1997).

8(2b) resulting from the topiclization of (2a) is a grammatical sentence, while, (3b) that same topiclization was applied to (3a), shows as an ungrammatical sentence. Based on this observation, Noda (1981) argued that, ‘only in the case that the predicate noun (Z [note by the writer]) is the type of noun such as tokutyō “characteristic” and tyūsin “center” that represent important aspects of things (X [note by the writer]), can Kaki-Ryōri Construction be established4’ (53).

9In contrast, Nishiyama (2003) considered that, ‘normally, whether A is important to B or not is the matter of the level that shows our beliefs and knowledge about the world, instead of linguistic meanings (263)’. And as an alternative, he introduced the concept of ‘unsaturated noun’ which is able to be defined on the level of semantics. ‘Unsaturated noun’ is defined as follows:

(4) Unsaturated Noun

Nouns that include a variable X (parameter) and whose extensions cannot be determined without filling in a value of that X                              

(Nishiyama 2003: 33)

10    For example, nouns like honba ‘place of origin’ and syujii ‘doctor in charge’ are unsaturated nouns, because their extensions cannot be determined unless their parameters nanno ‘of what’, dareno ‘of whom’ are decided. On the other hand, according to Nishiyama (2012), the type of noun like kaki-ryōri ‘oyster cuisine’ and megane ‘glasses’, that are complete by themselves and whose extensions can be determined autonomously are called ‘saturated noun’ (101). In fact, there are also nouns so-called as ‘complement-taking nouns’ that are semantically incomplete standing alone observed in English. For instance, Allerton (2003) proposed a classification of Postnominal of-Phrases using the term ‘comlementary’. In particular, ‘a professor of French literature’, ‘the wife of the vicar’ and ‘the owner of the dog’ all belong to this type. Based on the distinguish between saturated and unsaturated noun, Nishiyama (1990, 2003) re-defined the establishing conditions of Kaki-Ryōri Construction as follows:

(5) Kaki-Ryōri Construction’s establishing conditions

In sentences that have the form of ‘Y ga X no Z (dearu toki)’ with ‘X no Z’ being predicate noun phrases, only in the case that Z is an unsaturated noun and X shows as the value of its parameter, can Kaki-Ryōri Construction ‘X wa Y ga Z da’ be established.

(Nishiyama 2003: 297-298)

11According to (5), the reason why the qualifications of being a Kaki-Ryōri Construction between (2b) and (3b) differs should be explained as follows: the former one’s Z syujii ‘doctor in charge’ is an unsaturated noun, but the latter one’s Z megane ‘glasses’ is a saturated noun.

2.2. Exceptional examples of Kaki-Ryōri Construction

12We have looked at the argument of previous studies that the saturation of nouns is responsible for the establishment of Kaki-Ryōri Construction in section 2 above. However, according to recent studies, even if Z is a saturated noun, in certain cases Kaki-Ryōri Construction can be established. Let us start by offering an overview of two types of case that are considered to be exceptional examples of (5) and examining the preceding studies dealing with those cases in detail.

13The first exceptional example of (5) is the case indicated by Iori as below.

(6) a. Yamaguchi Momoe  ga     ano  koro  no    aidorukasyu  datta.
    
Yamaguchi Momoe  NOM  that  time  GEN  idol singer   COP
    ‘Yamaguchi Momoe was the idol singer in that time.’

      b. Ano  koro  wa   Yamagichi Momoe  ga    aidorukasyu  datta.
        that  time  TOP  Yamagichi Momoe  NOM  idol singer   COP
        ‘In that time, Yamaguchi Momoe was the idol singer.’

(7) a. Takanohana  ga     ano  toki   no   Yokozyuna   datta.
    Takanohana  NOM  that  time  GEN  Yokozuna    COP
    ‘Takanohana was the Yokozuna in that time.’

      b. Ano  toki  wa   Takanohana   ga    Yokozyuna  datta.
        that  time  TOP  Takanohana  NOM  Yokozuna   COP
        ‘In that time, Takanohana was the Yokozuna.’

14Aidorukasyu ‘idol singer’ and Yokozyuna ‘Yokozuna’ corresponding to Z in (6) an (7) are both saturated nouns for that they are complete by themselves. Nevertheless, the overall structure of (6b) and (7b) are predicational sentences for being descriptions of ano koro ‘that time’ and ano toki ‘that time’. At the same time, the predicate portions that can be generally paraphrased as ‘if you ask who the aidorukasyu “idol singer” or Yokozyuna “Yokozuna” of ano koro/ano toki (that time) was, it was Yamaguchi Momoe or Takanohana’, have the structure of specificational sentences. Therefore, we can see that (6b) and (7b) have same structures as Kaki-Ryōri Construction.

15Iori suggested regarding these cases as Kaki-Ryōri Construction, and pointed out that not only semantic factors, but also ‘pragmatic factors such as whether a predicational relationship is satisfied between “X” and “Y ga Z da” affect’ the establishment of the construction (93). By contrast, Nishiyama (2013) considered X as a predicative modifier of Z dearu ‘is Z’ or the predicate chii wo shimeiru ‘occupy the position’ in Z no chii wo shimeru ‘occupy the position of Z’, and consequently argued that we should exclude these cases from Kaki-Ryōri Construction.

16However, questions still remain in both studies. Firstly, the description of Iori makes it difficult to predicate the fact that sentences like (8b) are ungrammatical.

(8) a.  Borutēru  ga     18 seiki      no    sakka  da.
     Voltaire   NOM  18th century   GEN  writer  COP
         ‘Voltaire is the writer of the 18th century.’

  b. ?18 seiki      wa   Borutēru  ga     sakka  da.
     18th century  TOP  Voltaire   NOM  writer  COP
    ? ‘In 18th century, Voltaire is the writer.’

17Since (8b) has same structure as (6b) and (7b) for that the positons of X, Y and Z are both taken by expressions of time, person’s name and occupation in order, the predicational relationship between both ‘X’ and ‘Y ga Z da’ are thought to be the same. Whereas, (8b) is grammatical, yet (6b) and (7b) are ungrammatical.

18Secondly, about Nishiyama (2013), it remains unclear that where should we position sentences like (9) and (10) as below.

(9) a. Windows 10  ga     ano  pasokon   no    operingushisutemu (OS)  da.
     
Windows 10  NOM  that  computer  GEN  operating system (OS)   COP
     ‘Windows 10 is the operating system (OS) of that computer.’

b. Ano  pasokon   wa   Windows 10  ga     operingushisutemu (OS)   da.
     that  computer  TOP  Windows 10  NOM  operating system (OS)    COP

     ‘For that computer, Windows 10 is the operating system.’

(10) a. Hanako  ga     ano  fasshonburando  no   moderu  da.
     Hanako  NOM  that  fashion brand   GEN  model   COP
     ‘Hanako is the model of that fashion brand.’

   b. Ano  fasshonburando  wa   Hanako  ga     moderu  da.
     that  fashion brand    TOP  Hanako  NOM  model   COP
     ‘For that fashion brand, Hanako is the model.’

19These two sets of sentence both have same structure as (7) and (8), but ano pasokon ‘that computer’ and Hanako cannot be considered as predicative modifiers like ano koro/ano toki ‘that time’.

20The second exceptional example of (5) is the case brought up by Nishiyama (2003) and latterly been called ‘Suspected/Pseudo Kaki-Ryōri Construction’ by Koya (2011), Koya and Tsuji (2013).

(11) a. Tarō  ga     kono  jadtu bando  no    pianisuto  da.
     
Tarō  NOM  this   jazz band    GEN  pianist    COP
     ‘Tarō is the pianist of this jazz band.’

       b. Kono  jadtu bando  wa  Tarō   ga     pianisuto  da.
         this    jazz band   TOP  Tarō  NOM  pianist    COP
         ‘For this jazz band, Tarō is the pianist.’

(12) a. Suramugai  ga     watashi  no    gakkō  da.
     slum area   NOM  I       GEN  school  COP
     ‘The slums are my school.’

   b. Watashi  wa    suramugai  ga     gakkō  da.
     I        TOP  slum area   NOM  school  COP
     ‘As for me, the slums are the school.’

21In (11) and (12), Z pianisuto ‘pianist’ and gakkō ‘school’ are both saturated nouns. However, as Nishiyama (2003) pointed out, (11b) can be established as Kaki-Ryōri Construction in the case that Taro who is not a pianist accepts the job of playing piano for a private jazz band due to absence of a real pianist. In the same way, (12b) can also be established as Kaki-Ryōri Construction in the case that there exists a certain similarity between suramugai ‘the slums’ and gakkō ‘school’.

22Based on the above, Koya and Tsuji defined the establishing conditions of Suspected/Pseudo Kaki-Ryōri Construction as below.

(13) Suspected/Pseudo Kaki-Ryōri Construction’s establishing conditions

   a. The expression of X wa Y wo Z to minasu ‘X likens Y to Z’ is natural.

       b. Only in the case that a is satisfied, the specificational sentence ‘Y ga X no Z da’ can be interpreted as X nitotte no Z ‘the Z to/for X’, and the Suspected/Pseudo Kaki-Ryōri Construction ‘X wa Y ga Z da’ can be established.

(Koya and Tsuji 2013: 27)

23According to (13), noun phrases corresponding to X must be expressions for volitional subjects such as human beings and organizations. The reason is because only volitional subjects are capable of ‘likening ~ to ~’.

24However, even if X are not expressions of volitional subjects, in certain cases as follows, the interpretation of ‘X nitotte no Z’ is possible.

(14) a. Futū     no    hābu  ga     furui jidai    no    Penisirin  da.
     
ordinary  GEN  herb  NOM  ancient time  GEN  Penicillin  COP
     ‘Ordinary herbs are the Penicillin in ancient times.’

       b. Furui jidai    wa   futū      no   hābu  ga     Penisirin  da.
ancient time  TOP  ordinary  GEN  herb  NOM  Penicillin  COP
‘In ancient times, it is ordinary herbs that are the Penicillin.’

(15) a. Bishoppu  ga     ano  kuni     no    shōgi  no    Kakugyō  da.
     Bishop    NOM  that  country  GEN  chess  GEN  Kakugyo  COP
     ‘Bishop is the Kakugyo in the chess of that country.’

   b. Ano  kuni    no     shōgi   wa   Bishoppu  ga    Kakugyō  da.
     that  country  GEN   chess  TOP  Bishop    NOM  Kakugyo  COP
     ‘In the chess of that country, Bishop is the Kakugyo.’

25Both of (14) and (15) are of same structure as (11) and (12), but do not apply to the definition of (13). Because furuijidai ‘antient time’ and ano kuni no shogi ‘chess of that country’ are not expressions of volitional subjects.

26Although a great deal of work has been done on Kaki-Ryōri Construction in recent years as above, there is still room for disagreement about its establishing conditions. From the next section, we attempt to provide a unified explanation of the conditions on Kaki-Ryōri Construction within a framework called mental space theory.

3. Discussion

3.1. Classification of exceptional examples of Kaki-Ryōri Construction

27We have looked at the two cases of Kaki-Ryōri Construction’s exceptional examples. Here, we may break those exceptional examples down into two types as follows:

Type A:

(16) Ano koro wa Yamaguchi Momoe ga aidorukasyu datta. (see (6b))
   ‘In that time, Yamaguchi Momoe was the idol singer.’

(17) Ano toki wa Takanohana ga yokodyuna datta. (see (7b))
   ‘In that time, Takanohana was the Yokozuna.’

(18) Ano pasokon wa Windows 10 ga operingushisutemu (OS) da. (see (9b))
       ‘For that computer, Windows 10 is the operating system.’

(19) Ano fasshonburando wa Hanako ga moderu da. (see (10b))
       ‘For that fashion brand, Hanako is the model.’

Type B:

(20) Kono jazu bando wa Tarō ga pianisuto da. (see (11b))
   ‘Tarō is the pianist of this jazz band.’

(21) Watashi wa suramugai ga gakkō da. (see (12b))
       ‘The slums are my school.’

(22) Furui jidai wa futū no hābu ga Penishirin da. (see (14b))
   ‘In ancient times, it is ordinary herbs that are the Penicillin.’

(23) Ano kuni no syōgi wa Bishoppu ga Kakugyō da. (see (15b))
       ‘In the chess of that country, Bishop is the Kakugyo.’

28By comparing the data of the two types, we can see that type A and type B are different mainly in two points. One is that Z of type A have metaphoric meanings, but Z of type B do not have those meanings. The other point is that Z of type A are all common nouns, but Z of type B can be proper nouns like Penishilin ‘Penicillin’ and Kakugyō ‘Kakugyo’. To confirm the first point, we can take X out of both types, and change the predicates ‘Y ga Z da’ into predicational sentences like ‘Y wa Z da’, then compare the results in (24).

(24) a. #Yamaguchi Momoe wa aidorukasyu datta. (corresponding to (16))
      ‘Yamaguchi Momoe was an idol singer.’

   b. #Tarō wa pianisuto da. (corresponding to (20))
          ‘Tarō is a pianist.’

29(24a) is grammatical and has almost same meaning as (16), but (24b) conveys a completely different meaning than (20). The difference results from that in (24a) Yamaguchi Momoe ga aidorukasyu dearu koto ‘the fact that Yamaguchi Momoe is an idol singer’ is established without a temporal restriction, while (24b) can be established only in the case that Tarō is not a real pianist, but is regarded as ‘a pianist to the jazz band’ in a metaphoric way. About the second point, the fact that Z of type B are able to be proper nouns like Penishilin ‘Penicillin’ and Kakugyō ‘Kakugyo’ is considered to be relative to the first point, and results from that Z of type B are interpreted in a metaphoric way. That is because proper nouns like Penicillin are used to refer to particular things, while in sentences like (22), they are used in a metaphoric way so that they become qualified to designate things like futū no hābu ‘ordinary herb’ as their referents. The differences among Kaki-Ryōri Construction, type A and type B can be showed in a simple table as below:

Table . Comparison of Kaki-Ryōri Construction, Type A and Type B

              Features of Z

Sentence Types

Metaphoric meaning

Use of proper nouns

saturated

Kaki-Ryōri Construction

NO

NO

NO

Type A

NO

NO

YES

Type B

YES

YES

YES

3.2. Kaki-Ryōri Construction within Mental Space Theory

30We have looked at the distinctions between Kaki-Ryōri Construction and its exceptional examples. It can be seen from Table 1 that those distinctions are reflected on the features of Z. If we observe those Z in detail, it is not difficult to find out that the noun phrases corresponding to Z do not always refer to same objects but different objects according to the contexts. Take the Z aidorukasyu ‘idol singer’ for example. If it is used by Japanese people, it may refer to public entertainers like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. However, if it is used by American people, it probably refers to celebrities like Lady Gaga. Even more important is that even if it is used by same Japanese people, the ‘idol singer’ is able to refer to people like Yamaguchi Momoe and Matsuda Seiko if we set the date to 1980’s.

31Thus, we can say the usage of noun phrases are rather dependent on contexts. From this point of view, Gilles Fauconnier proposed a concept called ‘role’ within mental space theory. ‘Role’ is defined as a type of function which comes from the meaning and description of a noun phrase, and yields suitable values, given contextual parameters. The fact that noun phrases refer to different objects according to contexts can be explained by the nature of the role function that assign suitable values to factors within the domain of variability. For example, aidorukasyu ‘idol singer’ is a role function that takes a country name as the domain of variability and a set of idol singer as the domain of values. However, it is clear that the referent of idol singer varies from time to time, even when talking about the same country. To be more accurately, we can therefore assume that aidorukasyu ‘idol singer’ is a function assigning values to the set of the pair of country name and date (time). Although, the factor of the domain of variability can be omitted properly, so long as it is evident from the context. If we are talking about successive Japanese idol singers, there is no need to point out the country name specifically like using the expression ‘Japanese idol singers of our generation’. Instead of that, it enough to say ‘idol singers of our generation’. And, if we are talking about idol singers of our generation around the world, we do not have to point out the date or period, and even both of them are not necessary in certain cases.

32Next, let us consider Kaki-Ryōri Construction and its exceptional examples from the standpoint of regarding noun phrases as function roles.

(25) Ano koro wa Yamaguchi Momoe ga aidorukasyu datta. (Type A)
   ‘In that time, Yamaguchi Momoe was the idol singer.’

(26) Kaki-ryōri wa Hiroshima ga honba da. (Kaki-Ryōri Construction)
   ‘For oyster-cuisine, Hiroshima is the place.’

33(25) and (26) belong to type A and Kaki-Ryōri Construction respectively. In (25), aidorukasyu ‘idol singer’ corresponds to the ‘role/function’, ano koro ‘that time’ corresponds to the ‘factor in the domain of variability’, and Yamaguchi Momoe corresponds to the ‘value’. In other words, if we regard ‘idol singer’ as a type of ‘function’ and call the set of things corresponding to X (in this case, X are supposed to be various time expressions) the ‘domain of variability’, if only certain factors x = ‘that time’ in the domain of variability are determined, y = ‘Yamaguchi Momoe’ as a ‘value’ corresponding to it can be determined too. Therefore, we can describe the features of type A as follows:

(27) Features of Type A

Sentences that have the form of ‘X wa Y ga Z da’ with their Z, X and Y assigned to ‘function/role’, ‘factors in the domain of variability’ and ‘value’ respectively

34Let us now turn to (26). (26) differs from (25) as to that honba ‘place of origin’ corresponding to Z is an unsaturated noun whose extensions cannot be determined unless the parameter is decided. But, at the same time, (26) and (25) are broadly similar in that their Z can be considered as a type of ‘function’ that takes X as a ‘factor in the domain of variability’ and Y as a ‘value’. That is because, we can see a certain relationship between X and Y through honba ‘place of origin’: Y is determined according to X. For example, if X = kaki-ryōri ‘oyster cuisine’, then Y = Hiroshima, if X = cochlea cuisine, then Y = France. Therefore, if we take a position that put more emphasis on the concept of ‘role function’ than saturability, we can treat type A as a subclass of Kaki-Ryōri Construction in a broad sense, and re-describe its features as follows:

(28) Features of Kaki-Ryōri Construction (Type A included)

Sentences that have the form of ‘X wa Y ga Z da’ with their Z, X and Y assigned to ‘function/role’, ‘factors in the domain of variability’ and ‘value’ respectively

35There is one other thing that is important in describing Kaki-Ryōri Construction, according to Sakahara, is that Z has to be a word working as a ‘function/role’. Let us compare the situation of Z being a function with that of Z not being a function as below.

(29) a. Tarō  ga     ano  toki   no   yūshōsha  datta.
     
Tarō  NOM  that  time  GEN  winner   COP
     ‘Tarō was the winner at that time.’

   b. Ano  toki   wa  Tarō   ga    yūshōsha  datta.
     that  time  TOP  Tarō  NOM  winner    COP
     ‘At that time, Tarō was the winner.’

(30) a. Tarō  ga     ano  toki   no   otokonoko  datta.
     Tarō  NOM  that  time  GEN  boy       COP
     ‘Tarō was a boy at that time.’

   b. Ano  toki   wa   Tarō  ga    otokonoko  datta.
     that  time  TOP  Tarō  NOM  boy       COP
     ‘At that time, Tarō was a boy.’

(Sakahara 1990: 58)

36Yūshōsha ‘winner’ corresponding to Z in (29), whose referents change according to competitions, works as a ‘function/role’ just like honba ‘place of origin’. Accordingly, (29b) is a natural sentence (with ano toki ‘that time’ corresponding to a ‘factor in the domain of variability’ and Tarō corresponding to a ‘value’). Whereas, otokonoko ‘boy’ corresponding to Z in (30) represents a constant attribute, consequently, it cannot work as a ‘function/role’. Therefore, (30b) is an unnatural sentence. To put it in another way, the grammaticality of (29b) and (30b) differs for the reason that the former one can be interpreted as a ‘function/role’, but the latter one cannot. It follows that we can re-describe the establishing conditions of Kaki-Ryōri Construction including type A as below:

(31) Kaki-Ryōri Construction’s establishing conditions (Type A included)

In sentences that have the form of ‘Y ga X no Z (dearu toki)’ with ‘X no Z’ being predicate noun phrases, only in the case that Z is a noun phrase that can be interpreted as a ‘function/role’, can Kaki-Ryōri Construction ‘X wa Y ga Z da’ be established.

3.3. General conditions of Kaki-Ryōri Construction

37We have looked at the establishing conditions of Kaki-Ryōri Construction including type A, from the viewpoint of mental space theory in last section. We now proceed to type B.

(32) Watashi wa suramugai ga gakkō da. (see (12b))
   ‘As for me, the slums are the school.’

(33) Furui jidai wa futū no hābu ga Penishirin da. (see (14b))
   ‘In ancient times, it is ordinary herbs that are the Penicillin.’

38In (32) and (33), gakkō ‘school’ and Penishirin ‘Penicillin’ corresponding to Z are not noun phrases which can be interpreted as ‘functions/roles’. The word ‘school’, for the most part, is defined as ‘a place where children go to be educated’, thus, it is not a noun that take different extensions according to time(date) and individuals. Similarly, the word ‘Penicillin’ represents a certain kind of medicine and cannot take different extensions as usual. This fact shows that (31) cannot be applied to type B as it is. This leads us to the question of how to consider type B within mental space theory.

39To deal with this question, we suggest introducing a notion called ‘Mental Space’. ‘Mental spaces’, according to Fauconnier, are ‘structured, incrementable sets with elements (a, b, c, …) and relations holding between them (R1ab, R2a, R3cbf, …), such that new elements can be added to them and new relations established between their elements’ (16). Here we can simply define them as ‘cognitive interfaces that mediate between grammatical structures and the outside world in language understanding’ or just ‘different possible worlds like images, beliefs and spaces’. Mental spaces are built up in any discourse and constantly change during ongoing discourses. In the discourses, there usually exists an original space, and it corresponds to (a part of) the speaker’s belief if there is not any special specification.

40Moreover, according to Fauconnier, ‘linguistic expressions will typically establish new spaces, elements within them, and relations holding between the elements’ (17). And, he names the expressions that may establish a new space or refer back to one already introduced in the discourse ‘Space-builder’ expressions (17). Space-builders may be divided into two groups from two different perspectives: grammatical forms and substances. From the perspective of grammatical forms, Space-builders may be prepositional phrases (in Len’s picture, in John’s mind, in 1929, at the factory, from her point of view), adverbs (really, probably, possibly, theoretically), connectives (if A then __, either __ or __), underlying subject-verb combinations (Max believes __, Mary hopes __, Gertrude claims __) (17). From the perspective of substances, they are time, spaces, beliefs, images (pictures, photos, etc.), active regions of metaphoric space. For example, the underline parts of (34) and (35) are both prepositional phrases from the perspective of grammatical forms, but from the perspective of substances, they are space-builders of beliefs and images respectively.

(34) In Alex’s mind, his girlfriend hasn’t broken up with him yet.

(35) In Len’s painting, the girl with blue eyes has green eyes. (Fauconnier 1994: 20)

41The original spaces of (34) and (35) are both real world. In the real world, ‘Alex’s girlfriend’ is supposed to have broken up with him and ‘the girl with green eyes’ is also supposed to have ‘blue eyes’. Here, both ‘in Alex’s mind’ and ‘in Len’s painting’ are space-builder expressions used for introducing new spaces.

42Now, if we re-write (32) and (33) of type B after the model of (34) and (35), we can find that watashi ‘I’ and furui jidai ‘ancient times’ corresponding to their X are both space-builder expressions.

(36) Watashi nitotte wa, suramugai ga gakkō da.
   ‘As for me, the slums are the school.’

(37) Furui jidai nioite wa, futū no hābu ga Penishirin da.
       ‘As for ancient times, ordinary herbs are the Penisillin.’

43    In (36), the expression watashi nitotte ‘as for me’ corresponding to X functions as a space-builder that introduces a new space of ‘my belief’ to the original one. Thus, things like ‘the slums’ which would not be relative to ‘school’ become regarded as a referent of it, and then we will start to consider ‘what is regarded as the school (as for me)’, in other words, what is specified as the value of ‘the school (as for me)’. Similarly, furui jidai ‘ancient times’ in (37) functions as a space-builder, which makes it able for Penishirin ‘Penicillin’ corresponding to Z to be interpreted as ‘a strong medicine for curing disease’ metaphorically, instead of being explained literally.

44    It is worth noting that although Z of type B are not noun phrases working as ‘functions/roles’, by introducing the space-builder X, they become working as ‘functions/roles’ practically. For example, the word ‘school’ may be interpreted as ‘the slams’ to me, but interpreted as ‘workplace’ or ‘family’ to other people. And ‘Penicillin’ may also take different referents according to time. In summary, we can regard words like these a type of ‘function’, which take space-builders as ‘factors in the domain of variability’.

45    All these things make it clear that if we subsume the observation of type B into the establishing conditions (31), we can give an overall explanation to all cases corresponding to Kaki-Ryōri Construction as below:

(38) Kaki-Ryōri Construction’s establishing conditions (Type A and Type B included)

In sentences that have the form of ‘Y ga X no Z (dearu toki)’ with ‘X no Z’ being predicate noun phrases, only in the case that the following conditions are satisfied, can Kaki-Ryōri Construction ‘X wa Y ga Z da’ be established.

[1] Z is a noun phrase that can be interpreted as a ‘function/role’.

[2] With X working as a space-builder expression, Z is interpreted as a ‘function/role’.

4. Conclusion

46So far, we have examined the establishing conditions of Kaki-Ryōri Construction which had stayed in unsystematic description in previous studies, and succeeded in showing the possibility that Kaki-Ryōri Construction can be treated under more general conditions within mental space framework, by comparing the cases considered to be Kaki-Ryōri Construction conventionally with its exceptional examples (type A and type B).

47The ‘conventional Kaki-Ryōri Construction’ have been explained related to the semantic relations of ‘X no Z’, especially the (non)saturation of ‘Z’. Still, according to recent studies, there exist certain exceptional examples that same cases similar to Kaki-Ryōri Construction can be made without Z being saturated nouns. In order to give an overall explanation to Kaki-Ryōri Construction, including those cases been considered exceptional, we suggest introducing concepts of ‘role function’ and ‘mental space’ within mental space theory (see (38) above).

48Having decided the establishing conditions of Kaki-Ryōri Construction, a further point which needs to be clarified is that whether constructions other than Kaki-Ryōri Construction having been considered relative to un(saturation) can be explained within mental space theory.

Notes

1 The words shown in boldface in sample sentences as in (1) are main function words of Japanese.

2 Here, we use the description of the topic marker ‘Wa’ in Kikuchi (1995, 1997) and that of the nominative marker ‘Ga’ in Kuno (1973) as a reference for describing the distinction between predicational and specificational sentences respectively.

3 In this situation, watashi ‘I’ is the only thing to be listed corresponding to (kono kanja no) syujii ‘(this patient’s) primary doctor’.

4 Similar content of this argument has been stated in Kikuchi (1997).

Bibliographie

Allerton, D.J. 2003. Postnominal of-Phrase in the English NP. Basel: Universität Basel ms.

Fauconnier, G. 1994. Mental Spaces. Cambridge, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Iori, Isao. 1995. Goitekiimi ni motudsuku kessokusei ni tsuite: meishi no kōkōzo to no kanren kara [About the coherence based on lexical meanings: relating to nouns’ case construction]. Gendai Nihongo kenkyū [studies in modern Japanese] 2: 85-102.

Kanbayashi, Yoji. 1988. Soteibun to shiteibun: wa to ga no ichimen [predicational sentences and specificational sentences: Some properties of wa and ga]. Tsukuba Daigaku Bungei Kenkyū Gengo-hen [Annual of Tsukuba University: Studies in Language and Literature (Language)] 14: 57-74.

Kikuchi, Yasuto. 1995. ‘wa’ kōbun no gaikan [a general survey of ‘wa’ construction]. Nihongo no shudai to toritate [Topic markers and focus particles in Japanese]. Ed. Masuoka Takashi, Noda Hisashi, and Numada Yoshiko. Tokyo: Kuroshio Publishing Company. 37-69.

Kikuchi, Yasuto. 1997. ‘Kakiryōri wa Hiroshima ga honba da’ kōbun no seiritsu jōken [Well-formedness conditions of ‘kakiryōri wa Hiroshima ga honba da’ construction]. Hiroshima Daigaku Nihongo-kyōiku-gakka kiyō [Bulletin of the Department of Teaching Japanese as a Secong Language, Hiroshima University] (A special issue celebrating the 10th anniversary of the founding of the department)7: 89-107.

Koya, Hideki. 2011. Koyūmeishi to kakiryōri kōbun [Proper nouns and Kakiryōri Construction]. Keiōgijyuku-daigaku Gengo-bunka Kenkyūsho Kiyō [Reports of the Keio Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies] 42: 265-287.

Koya, Hideki and Tsuji, Yukio. 2013. Meishiku no hōwasei to mitate: hihōwaka no syosō [ Saturability of noun phrases and comparison: the various aspects of unsaturation]. Kyōyōronsō [Treatises on education]. 134: 17-33.

Kuno, Susumu. 1973. The structure of the Japanese language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Mikami, Akira. 1953. Gendai gohō joron: sintakusu no kokoromi [An introduction of modern grammar: an attempt on syntax]. Tokyo: Kuroshio Publishers.

Nishiyama, Yuji. 1990. ‘Kakiryōri wa Hiroshima ga honba da’ kōbun ni tsuite: Hōwa-meishiku to hihōwa-meishiku [On ‘Kakiryōri wa Hiroshima ga honba da’ construction: Saturated NPs and unsaturated NPs]. Keiōgijyuku-daigaku Gengo-bunka Kenkyūsho Kiyō [Reports of the Keio Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies] 22: 169-188.

Nishiyama, Yuji. 2003. Nihongo meishiku no imiron to goyoron: shijiteki meishiku to hi-shijiteki meishiku [semantics and pragmatics of noun phrases in Japanese: referential noun and non-referential noun phrases]. Tokyo: Hituzi Syobo.

Nishiyama, Yuji. 2012. ‘Dai 4 shō Go ya ku no aimaisei wa doko kara kuru ka’ [Section 4 Where does the ambiguity of words and phrases come from]. Kotoba no imi wa nan darō [What is literal meaning]. Imai Kunihiko and Nishiyama Yuji. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten Publishers. 89-143.

Nishiyama, Yuji. 2013. ‘Ano koro no aidorukasyu’ ni tuite [About ‘Ano koro no aidorukasyu’]. Meishiku no sekai sono imi to kaisyaku no sinpi ni semaru [On noun phrases: The mystery of meaning and interpretation]. Ed. Nishiyama Yuji. Tokyo: Hituzi Syobo. 141-155.

Noda, Hisashi. 1981. ‘Kakiryōri wa Hiroshima ga honba da’ kōbun ni tsuite [On kakiryōri wa Hiroshima ga honba da construction]. Machikaneyama Ronsō Nihongakuhen (School of Letters, Osaka University) 16: 45-66.

Noda, Hisashi. 1996. ‘Wa’ to ‘Ga’ [Wa and Ga]. Sin nihongo bunpō sōsho 1 [New series of Japanese grammar 1]. Tokyo: Kuroshio Publishers.

Sakahara, Shigeru. 1990. Yakuwari, ‘Ga’/‘Wa’, Unagi Bun [Roles, the Particles ga/wa, ‘eel’ Sentences]. Ninchi kagaku no hatten dai 3 kan [Development of Cognitive Science Vol.3]. Ed. Nihon ninchi kagakukai [Japanese Cognitive Science Society]. Tokyo: Kodansha Publishers. 29-66.

Annexes

List of abbreviations for this paper
     

COP       copula

GEN       genitive

NOM       nominative

TOP       topic

Pour citer ce document

HAN Luo, «Analysis of Kaki-Ryōri Construction by Mental Space Theory», Acta Litt&Arts [En ligne], Acta Litt&Arts, La traduction du savoir et ses méthodes, D. Transferts linguistiques, mis à jour le : 14/05/2019, URL : http://ouvroir-litt-arts.univ-grenoble-alpes.fr/revues/actalittarts/499-analysis-of-kaki-ryori-construction-by-mental-space-theory.

Quelques mots à propos de :    HAN Luo

Tohoku University