The Syntactic Interpretation of Thai Middle Voice and Target Sentences in Japanese


This paper examines the syntactic interpretation of Thai middle voice sentences such as nǎŋsɨ̌ɨ níi kh ǎaj dii ‘this book sells well.’ and the equivalent sentences in Japanese. As a Thai speaker who teaching Japanese as a foreign language, I find out that we cannot say *kono hon ga yoku uru ‘this book sells well’ which is the literal interpretation from Thai middle voice. This might cause a problem to learners who study Japanese or Thai as a foreign language –i.e. Thai middle voice has a THEME as a subject occurring with an agentive verb and a manner adverbial, while the target sentences in Japanese such as a passive or potential form has a THEME or else as a subject occurring with a verb form by suffix -(r)are. This kind of the form is derived from active voice –e.g. taber-u ‘eat’ and taber-areru ‘can eat/ be eaten’. Thus, the distinction of interpretation between Thai and Japanese sentence structure must be made. In addition according to Inhongsa (2016) , the middle voice in Thai is generated without movement because there is no trace of movement in the deep structure. In contrast, the target of interpreted sentences in Japanese are syntactically derived. This paper will show the syntactic and morphosyntactic processes of those interpretations.

Author Information
Kanokwanwalai Inhongsa, Mahasarakham University, Thailand

Paper Information
Conference: ACAH2019
Stream: Language

This paper is part of the ACAH2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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