Linguistics
Deictics/Pronouns/Japanese
Spring 2010
There’s me & there’s you
…& then there are you.
 How do we talk about you?
 Which one of you do we mean?
 Can we be nice to you?
 Does it matter who you are?

How is ‘you’ realized?
Here you are – English 2nd person
Steve
Singular:
Informal
Formal
you
you
Plural:
Informal
Formal
you
you
Here you are again
Steve
All y’all
Singular:
Informal
Formal
you
you
_____
_____
Plural:
Informal
Formal
you
you
_____
_____
You – in the North Way
Nynorsk
Bokmal
Singular:
Informal
Formal
du
De
du
De
Plural:
Informal
Formal
de
De
dere
De
You – Iberian Style
Spanish
Am Span
Singular:
Informal
Formal
tu
usted
tu/vos/usted
usted
Plural:
Informal
vosotros/as
ustedes
vosotros/as
ustedes
Formal
ustedes
Arabic (No T-V distinction)
Standard
Egyptian
‫أنت‬
‫أنت‬
inta/inti
‫حضرتك‬
‫حضرتك‬
hadret-ak/-ik
‫أنتم‬
‫أنتن‬
antum/
antunna
‘antumaa’ = dual m/f
‫حضرتك‬
‫حضرتك‬
hadretkum
Singular:
Male
Female
Plural:
Male
Female
Japanese
1st person
Sg. Watashi
2nd p
Anata
3rd p
Kare/
Kanojo
Pl.
A-tachi
K-tachi

W-tachi
Thus, J is very easy & reasonable…
Japanese – 1st p sg: morphs

‘watashi’ 私 – わたし
 Reduced

from ‘watakushi’ 私 - わたくし
Often ‘reduced’ to:
 ‘wadasu’
わだす (東北訛り - men)
 ‘washi’ わし old men
 ‘wai,wate,ate’ わい、わて、あて men
 ‘wa’ わ (青森: m/f; 愛媛: 年配の男性/二人称)
 ‘wan, wa-’ ワン、ワー (沖縄方言 -men)
 ‘atashi’ あたし young women
 ‘atai’ あたい women very informal
Germanic ‘morphs’
English
 Deutsch
 Dutch
 Dansk
 Svensk
 Norsk
 Icelandic
 Old English

I
Ich
Ik
Jeg
Jag
Jeg/Eg
Ég
Ic
English ‘reduced’

Think of variations in the pronunciation
of I.
Meanwhile, in Japan: more of I

我
われ ‘ware’
 Duplicated

very formal
 plural (casual)
我が
わが ‘waga’ very formal
Means "my" or "our". Used in speeches
and formalities; 我が社 wagasha (our
company) or 我が国 wagakuni (our
country).
Meanwhile: I…part II
‘ore’ 俺 (おれ) casual; male
 Prev. m/f & 上下; now male & =/下
 ‘oira’ 俺ら (おいら) (北) male
 ‘oi/oidon’ おい/おいどん (南九州) m
 ‘ura’ うら (東海東山) m/f
 ‘orecchi’ おれっち (pl sg)
 ‘oryaa/oraa’ おりゃあ / おらぁ
 …’-aa’

III
‘oryaa, oraa, bokaa, watashya, atashya,
washyaa,’
 おりゃあ、おらぁ, ぼかぁ、わたしゃ、あたし
ゃ、わしゃあ
 Chibi-mariko-chan (ちびまる子ちゃん) –
a popular cartoon character’s speech
 By extending the ‘aa’ or ‘ya’ sound, your
1st person sg mimics Chibimariko

Deictic Flexibility & ミ

1st person often used as 2nd What are
we ‘pointing’ to? Cf. “I’ll come over”

ミー ‘me,’ pronounced in a Japanese
manner is not used in daily life but in
fiction it might be used by a character
with an international outlook. 最近では
未成年の女子などが使用している。
ミ, too

In the early ‘80s, a pro wrestler took on
two stage personalities; in one he used
‘ore’ and in the other ‘me’ as his 1st
person singular. (no word on the plural)
1980年代初頭に連載された梶原一騎「プ
ロレススーパースター列伝」では、ブッチャ
ーの一人称を、主人公となるブッチャー篇
では「俺」、陽気な脇役であるタイガーマス
ク篇では「ミー」と使い分けている。
More of me
‘uchi’ 家 informal - young girls
 ‘boku’ 僕 informal - m (rarely f)
 ‘jibun’* 自分 athletics/2nd p.
 ‘your name+diminutive’ - w/ children
 ‘shoushoku’ 小職 - in business
 ‘sensei’ 先生 - w/ teacher/doctor
 ‘hongan’ 本官/ - in court
 ‘kochira’ こちら– in business dealings

SgPl: choices

- 達 ‘-tachi’ informal. m/f
 examples:
私達 ‘watashi-tachi’/ ‘watakushi-tachi’/
‘atashi-tachi’
僕達 ‘boku-tachi’
俺達 ‘ore-tachi’
Also can be attached to names to indicate
that person and the group (s)he is with
(Ryuichi-tachi = Ryuichi and friends).
Pronoun + plural

共 ‘–domo’ humble –m/f

私 共 ‘watashi-domo’ ‘watakushi-domo’
*‘washi-domo’
僕 共 *‘boku-domo’
 俺 共 *’ore-domo’

Pronoun + plural

等 ‘–ra’ informal
 Used
with informal pronouns; often used
with hostile language

私 等 ‘watashi-ra’ *‘watakushi-ra’
‘atashi-ra’(?) ‘washi-ra’
僕 等 ‘boku-ra’
 俺 等 ‘ore-ra’
