In his attempt to demonstrate the unreality of time, the British analytical philosopher McTaggart individuated two basic ways of distinguishing between temporal positions. In the first one (to quote McTaggart himself, 1908: §305) “[e]ach position is Earlier than some, and Later than some, of the other positions”. These positions are arranged in what McTaggart labeled ‘the B-Series’. In the second one, “each position is either Past, Present, or Future”. McTaggart referred to the series formed by these positions as to ‘the A-Series’. Linguistically, McTaggart’s A and B Series correspond, respectively, to temporal tenseness and to viewpoint aspect, but also to the deixis of time indexicals as opposed to the system the dates. In this article I will examine the lexical realization in Japanese of the lexemes belonging to the latter two categories. Then I will discuss of how the grammatical encoding of temporal determinations in Japanese follows two opposite strategies which exactly match the split between McTaggart’s temporal series. These strategies are such that B-Series dates (designing objective positions in time by means of permanent identificative codes) are usually expressed by Dative-marked phrases, whereas A-Series indexicals (coding subjective positions which can be designed by any deictic expression of the correct time-scale and whose label is impermanent, or subject to change, at an individual’s level) may never be realized by the Dative, but are rather expressed “adverbially” as phrases unmarked for case. On the basis of an analysis of the function and “meaning” (according to Japanese traditional linguistics) of the Dative case particle ni I will suggest that such correspondence can actually be explained by means of the different permanence properties possessed by McTaggart’s Series. To resume my conclusions, the function of ni in both spatial and temporal domains appears to be that of permanently assigning an entity (being an object or an event) to a locus (a physical place or, in the temporal domain, an abstract location). Its use with date-locatives is thus part of a general pattern of explicitly marking invariant relationships. Conversely, the zero case-marking occurring when the association of an event and a position is temporary or token-reflexive is due to the lack of an appropriate marker, in itself an expression of a general tendency in Japanese language of not distinguishing temporary states by means of a specific grammatical encoding.

Forever frozen into place : le serie temporali di McTaggart e i locativi di tempo giapponesi / S. Dalla Chiesa - In: Orientalia Parthenopea / [a cura di] G. Borriello. - [s.l] : Orientalia Parthenopea Edizioni, 2016. - ISBN 9788897000082. - pp. 25-56

Forever frozen into place : le serie temporali di McTaggart e i locativi di tempo giapponesi

S. Dalla Chiesa
2016

Abstract

In his attempt to demonstrate the unreality of time, the British analytical philosopher McTaggart individuated two basic ways of distinguishing between temporal positions. In the first one (to quote McTaggart himself, 1908: §305) “[e]ach position is Earlier than some, and Later than some, of the other positions”. These positions are arranged in what McTaggart labeled ‘the B-Series’. In the second one, “each position is either Past, Present, or Future”. McTaggart referred to the series formed by these positions as to ‘the A-Series’. Linguistically, McTaggart’s A and B Series correspond, respectively, to temporal tenseness and to viewpoint aspect, but also to the deixis of time indexicals as opposed to the system the dates. In this article I will examine the lexical realization in Japanese of the lexemes belonging to the latter two categories. Then I will discuss of how the grammatical encoding of temporal determinations in Japanese follows two opposite strategies which exactly match the split between McTaggart’s temporal series. These strategies are such that B-Series dates (designing objective positions in time by means of permanent identificative codes) are usually expressed by Dative-marked phrases, whereas A-Series indexicals (coding subjective positions which can be designed by any deictic expression of the correct time-scale and whose label is impermanent, or subject to change, at an individual’s level) may never be realized by the Dative, but are rather expressed “adverbially” as phrases unmarked for case. On the basis of an analysis of the function and “meaning” (according to Japanese traditional linguistics) of the Dative case particle ni I will suggest that such correspondence can actually be explained by means of the different permanence properties possessed by McTaggart’s Series. To resume my conclusions, the function of ni in both spatial and temporal domains appears to be that of permanently assigning an entity (being an object or an event) to a locus (a physical place or, in the temporal domain, an abstract location). Its use with date-locatives is thus part of a general pattern of explicitly marking invariant relationships. Conversely, the zero case-marking occurring when the association of an event and a position is temporary or token-reflexive is due to the lack of an appropriate marker, in itself an expression of a general tendency in Japanese language of not distinguishing temporary states by means of a specific grammatical encoding.
giapponese; caso grammaticale; Locativo; Dativo; tempo; McTaggart
Settore L-OR/21 - Lingue e Letterature della Cina e dell'Asia Sud-Orientale
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/480018
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