Reflexives in Japanese

Maki Kishida

The purpose of this dissertation is to reconsider reflexives in Japanese through thefollowing three steps: (a) separation of genuine reflexive elements from elements that areconfounded as reflexives, (b) classification of reflexive anaphors into subtypes based ontheir semantic difference, and (c) classification of predicates that occur with anaphors.Many researchers have worked on the reflexive element zibun ‘self,’ but Japanesehas other reflexive elements as well. These elements including zibun have not onlythe reflexive anaphor usage but also other ones. All the instances are, however, oftenlumped together under the category ‘reflexives.’ I distinguish genuine reflexive anaphorsin Japanese from elements that are confounded as reflexive elements, by scrutinizing theirsyntactic and semantic properties and behavioral differences. Further, I claim that reflexive anaphors are classified into two subtypes as ‘Purereflexive anaphors’ and ‘Near reflexive anaphors’ (Lidz, 1996, 2001a,b) based on theirsemantic property. Observing several languages from different language families, I pro-pose that there is a parametric variation with respect to the two-type distinction of reflex-ive anaphors among languages. In languages like Japanese, anaphors in the form of affixare Pure reflexive anaphors, while non-affixal anaphors are Near reflexive anaphors. Onthe other hand, in languages like Dutch, the morphological composition (complexity) ofanaphor corresponds to the two-type anaphor distinction. What yields this variation isalso discussed. In considering reflexives, it is important to know the nature of reflexive anaphors,but it is also essential to understand the nature of predicates that occur with an anaphor.One of the unsolved questions in the research of reflexives in Japanese is that the anaphorzibun cannot take a local antecedent when it occurs with a certain type of verb, althoughanaphors should be locally bound. Several studies have demonstrated that the availabil-ity of local binding of an anaphor depends on the property of its cooccuring predicate(Reinhart and Reuland, 1993, Bergeton, 2004, among others). Discussing how the typeof reflexive and the type of predicate relate, I propose a way to categorize predicates inJapanese into subtypes based on the analysis in Bergeton (2004). By going through thethree steps, I give an answer to the unsolved question.