- 名古屋大学人文学研究論集 (ISSN:2433233X)
- vol.1, pp.305-323, 2018-03-31
It is known that the Japanese passive clitic -rare- also has an abilitative/potential meaning. However, the mechanism through which each meaning is construed has not been sufficiently revealed through previous studies. The clitic -rare- that emerged through the analogy of spontaneous intransitive verbal inflection, resulted in inheriting the spontaneity in the meaning, as many studies has argued. However, at the same time the -rare- sentence is closely connected to the speaker’s standpoint, which is a crucial factor in explaining the meanings of a sentence with -rare- usage. A sentence such as “Kono sakana wa nama de tabe-rare-ru. (this fish is/can be eaten raw)” is construed as passive when we describe/construe it in a neutral standpoint. Meanwhile, the same sentence can be construed as abilitative/potential when we refer to it from the standpoint of the agent who hopes or intends to realize the event that is referred to by the verb. The construction where the passive and abilitative/potential meanings interact most frequently is the inanimate-theme subject type, especially when the agent is a generic person as well as defocused.