University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Abstract: Previous research on prenominal modification in tanka is scarce and has only taken partial aspects into consideration, namely, pronouns as modified elements and verbs as modifying elements, using only classical waka from the Man’yōshū as material. In light of this, the present study included all parts of speech that appear either as modifying elements or modified elements and analyzed prenominal modification in the renowned modern tanka collection Sarada Kinenbi. It also partially compared the results to the previous research on the Man’yōshū. It has been found that the attributive noun phrases are the most abundant kind of prenominal modification and that attributive adjective phrases are fewest in Sarada Kinenbi. Also, there are more single-word phrases/clauses than complex ones. Regarding complex phrases/clauses, the elements that accompany these are mostly complements. Further, more second person pronouns are modified than first person pronouns. Moreover, these second person pronouns were found to be most commonly modified by attributive clauses. Also, among the 14 verbs that modify pronouns, only the two verbs shinjiru (to believe) and konomu (to like) where found to match Inagaki’s definition “mental verbs”. Finally, Kagimoto’s (1999) claims regarding the Noun Phrase Accessibility Hierarchy in the Man’yōshū proved to be valid in Sarada Kinenbi as well.

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