Normative Forms and Synthetic Structure of Japanese in the Incubation Period of L2

Subject to Sentence-final Forms in Longitudinal Discourse Data of Korean Returnee Sisters' Japanese




normative forms, incubation period, sentence-final forms of Japanese, synthetic structure, analysis, Korean returnee sisters


In this paper, I examine the change mechanism of Japanese sentence-final forms (SFF) maintained by two Korean returnee sisters for over 10 years after the cessation of L2 contact, and focus on the negative formal style of verb sentences and its deviation from the actual use of norms (analysis form) and non-norms (synthetic form). Findings are based on a comparison of two Korean sisters’ Japanese with that of thirteen Korean adults’ colonial Japanese maintained for over 60 years, which is also in the incubation phase. In the sisters’ Japanese sentence-final forms that were incubating as their L2, they rarely used the non-norms, while the norms were stably maintained, and the retention of the synthetic structure of their returnee Japanese correlated with the duration of the language acquisition period and with the elapsed time of contact cessation. That is, the sisters used more of the norms in the Korean colonial Japanese SFF than they did in their Japanese; I attribute this to the sisters’ 10-year incubation period. Specifically, the Korean returnee sisters’ speech included interventions of the explanatory [N] in the past affirmation of -ta desu, heavy use of non-norms in adjective and noun sentences, and connecting sentence-final particles to further grammatical structures. However, there were fixed and conventional Norms in the Korean returnee sisters’ Japanese, and once these are acquired, masu forms are retained for long periods in mirror image, especially on elder A. To summarize, in terms of the format of the returnee Japanese SFF, the two Korean returnee sisters were slower to shift from norms (masu) to non-norms (desu) than were adult Korean speakers of colonial Japanese. The same shift is observed with synthetic structure even after cessation of the language contact.


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30. 07. 2020



Research articles

How to Cite

Hwang, Y. H. (2020). Normative Forms and Synthetic Structure of Japanese in the Incubation Period of L2: Subject to Sentence-final Forms in Longitudinal Discourse Data of Korean Returnee Sisters’ Japanese. Acta Linguistica Asiatica, 10(2), 105-125.