The Many Meanings of the Japanese Causative

Widening the Pragmatic Take on the –(sa)seru Causative Sentence

Keywords: causative, meaning, Japanese, causer, causee

Abstract

Causative sentences have long been a topic of research in Japanese linguistics due to the different meanings expressed by the use of the -(s)aseru inflection forming the causative verbal form. This paper presents a wider range of possible interpretations and meanings carried by Japanese causative sentences, the analysis of which was based on Fukada’s (2010) paper. The aim of this paper is to present the Japanese causative in simple terms, with the focus placed on the causer and the causee, i.e. on how their relationship connects to the overall meaning of the sentence. Through the analysis of example sentences, the transfer and expression of different meanings will also be discussed on examples from English and Croatian. Since the meaning of causative sentences often depends on the context, interpretations presented in this paper can serve as guidelines to understanding the versatility of the Japanese causative, and help when
expressing nuances of meaning in other languages.

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Published
2020-07-30
How to Cite
JaklinP. (2020). The Many Meanings of the Japanese Causative. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 10(2), 83-103. https://doi.org/10.4312/ala.10.2.83-103
Section
Research Articles