Japanese Word Formation in Construction Morphology

  • Natsuko TsujimuraEmail author
  • Stuart Davis
Part of the Studies in Morphology book series (SUMO, volume 4)


Along with the growing number of studies taking a construction approach to phrasal and clausal phenomena, applications of Construction Grammar to morphology has highlighted its importance in analyzing human language. In this chapter, we will illustrate that the construction morphology approach is most insightful in analyzing four word formation phenomena in Japanese: innovative verbs, hypocoristic formation, intensified mimetic adverbs, and innovative prenominal noun modification. They exhibit that a set of properties jointly belong to the construction in which they appear. These properties individually or collectively do not follow from general or Japanese-specific morpho(phono)logical principles. In each case, the properties that pertain to its form, meaning, and usage are better captured holistically belonging to the construction itself. The construction morphology approach offers the conceptual framework and methodological tools for analyzing them.


Coercion Hypocoristics Innovative verbs Mimetic adverbs Non-concatenative morphology Prosodic morphology Truncation 



We would like to thank Geert Booij not only for inviting us to contribute to this volume but also for providing us with a number of insightful comments. We are particularly indebted to him for his guidance to improve the content of this article and to help us to better understand the specific mechanisms of Construction Morphology. We also thank an anonymous reviewer for useful comments on an earlier version of this chapter.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of East Asian Languages and CulturesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of LinguisticsIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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