Verb verb complex predicates in old and middle japanese

Hirofumi Aoki, Bjarke Frellesvig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter describes the main features of Verb Verb complex predicates in Old and Middle Japanese (8th to 16th centuries) and discusses changes that took place between Old Japanese and Modern Japanese. Old Japanese had complex verbal predicate constructions which resemble the Modern Japanese Types 1-3, and in addition a V1 aktionsart verb construction, which is not found in later stages and which is hypothesized to have played a crucial role in the development of complex predicates in Japanese. The wordhood of complex verbal predicates is addressed. Verb Verb complex predicates did not constitute tight morphological units in Old and Early Middle Japanese, but developed into morphological words in Late Middle and Modern Japanese. It is proposed that the loss of subordinating function of the infinitive played an important part in this change. It is also observed that the Modern Japanese Type 4 (Vte V) is a Late Middle Japanese innovation which is not a prototypical complex predicate verb construction but rather an auxiliary verb construction.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVerb-Verb Complexes in Asian Languages
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9780198759508
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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