Grammaticalization from Minimizer to Focus Marker as Upward Reanalysis along the Nominal Spine*

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Abstract

This article demonstrates that Japanese minimizers, which are originally used as Negative Polarity Items in a negative context, can sometimes behave as focus markers when used postnominally. I will review a previous syntactic analysis of English minimizers, and propose a revised syntactic analysis of Japanese minimizers, based on newly discovered synchronic and diachronic facts. I argue that the usage of Japanese minimizers as focus markers was developed through grammaticalization as Upward Reanalysis along the nominal spine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-306
Number of pages49
JournalStudia Linguistica
Volume77
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug

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