- The Linguistic Society of Japan
- 言語研究 (ISSN:00243914)
- vol.1989, no.95, pp.231-256, 1989-03-25 (Released:2010-11-26)
In Japanese language, some transitive verbs, such as kiru ‘cut’ and yogosu ‘make dirty’ are paired with morphologically and semantically corresponding intransitive ones, such as kireru ‘be parted’ and yogoreru ‘become dirty’, but others, such as tataku ‘beat’ and yomu ‘read’, are not. Is it an unpredictable matter depending on an individual transitive verb whether it is paired with an intransitive one or not? The purpose of this paper is to show that it is not and to propose that there is the semantic difference between paired and unpaired transitive verbs: in general, the former describe the event focussing on the result of an agent's action, and the latter describe the event focussing on the process of an agent's action.