Japanese n deshita in Discourse: Past Form of n desu

  • Hironori NISHI University of Memphis
Keywords: Japanese, discourse analyses, past tense, n desu, n deshita, n datta

Abstract

N deshita/datta, which is the past-tense form of n desu/da, has not been explored in depth in studies of Japanese Linguistics. The present study examines a large corpus, and explores the cases of n deshita/datta used for past events and situations. The findings of the present study show that out of the 167 cases of n deshita/datta used for past events and situations in the corpus, 63 cases (37.7%) co-occurred with grammatical elements that require past-tense connections for the preceding item such as the sentential ending particle kke, the tara structure, and the tari structure. For the cases of n deshita/datta that co-occurred with kke, tara, or tari, it was concluded that the grammatical restrictions arising from these elements triggered the occurrences of n deshita/datta. On the other hand, 104 cases (62.3%) occurred without any grammatical elements that require past-tense connections. These cases of n deshita/datta in the corpus were used to express the speaker’s recollection of previously held knowledge, or as part of confirmation seeking utterances for previously held knowledge.

Author Biography

Hironori NISHI, University of Memphis

Assistant Professor of Japanese

Department of World Languages and Literatures

University of Memphis

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Published
2017-06-28
How to Cite
NISHI, H. (2017). Japanese n deshita in Discourse: Past Form of n desu. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 7(1), 41-56. https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.7.1.41-56
Section
Research Articles