152 , 2018-03-20 , 北海道大学大学院国際広報メディア・観光学院 = Graduate School of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies, Hokkaido University
In earlier papers (Yamashita [2016a], Yamashita [2016b]) I proposed the need for a contextual and deictic approach in Japanese syntax. In this paper I analyze the temporal expressions MAE and ATO from the same point of view. Contextual use means that an expression needs to be interpreted with respect to a reference point in order to be understood appropriately. The Japanese expression ～NO MAE-NI presupposes that the noun which precedes it functions as its reference point. 1) Hirugohan-no mae-ni sensei-ni au. “Before lunch, I will meet the teacher.” The main action “au (to meet)” occurs before the lunch. In this use we can say that MAE expresses the past. This type of expression is contextual. On the other hand, in the following sentence MAE expresses the future. 2) Mae-ni mukatte susunde ikou. “Let’s go forward.” In this case, MAE is used from the speaker’s point of view, and we say that this use is deictic. ～NO ATO-DE and ATO have the same contexual and deictic uses. We can also observe the contextual and the deictic viewpoints in English expressions like BEFORE - AFTER, and AGO - LATER.