A juncture of Japanese and English: Japanese compound verbs and English equivalents

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    Japanese is abundant in compound verbs (CVs), which are formed through a combination between two independent verbs and function as one verb. CVs in Japanese are without dispute recognised as an independent grammatical category and a great deal of researches have been devoted to this category in the literature (e.g. Teramura, 1984; Kageyama, 1993, 1999; Matsumoto, 1998; Yurnoto, 2005; Murata, 2008; Murata & Yamazaki, 2012). In contrast, CVs in English raise a number of puzzling questions concerning their classification, their word formation properties and their basic onomasiological function and thereby only a handful of researches are found on this topic of the language (Bagasheva, 2011). Furthermore, there is a disagreement among linguists about the existence of a category of CVs in English; some say that CVs are not productive and no CV is formed through a systematic process (Marchand, 1969) and others say that CVs are simply idiomatic expressions (Michaelis & Lambrecht, 1996). It is interesting to explore the (dis)sirnilarities in CV s between these two languages that place such different grammatical weight on CVs. Since no research has previously been undertaken to compare the comprehensive aspects of CVs in the two languages, the present study attempts to fill the gap in the literature by taking a closer look at CVs in Japanese and their equivalents in English, including V-V clusters created by the back-formation, serial verbs, phrasal verbs, V-infinite and V-gerund. Based on its findings, the present study will suggest several points to bear in mind for those who plan to undertake contrastive studies of particular subcategories or expressions of CVs in Japanese and English.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)55-67
    JournalJournal of Japanese Language and Literature
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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