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Auteur: Tomoaki IHARA

We need summary and sequential scannning --- a case study in Japanese ---

Abstract/Résumé: In this paper I demonstrate the theoretical plausibility of summary and sequential scanning, two modes of cognitive processing postulated by Langacker. Some academic articles have claimed a lack of independent evidence, but I would support the theory by showing some of linguistic evidence in English and Japanese, although there is more to be improved than Langacker would expect. First examples; noun of multitude. Even some nouns functions differently from others in the two modes of scanning. In the following sentences, (a) is scanned summarily and (b) sequentially. (1a) The crew consists of 20 persons. (1b) The crew were all saved. (2a) A large crowd was assembled. (2b) The crowd were deeply moved. (3a) The audience is very quiet. (3b) The audience are requested to take their seats before the performance begins. The second example is about quantifier float. If quantifier modifies a noun, we are inclined to scan it summarily. If it functions as adverb, we tend to scan it sequentially. (4a) All the students left. (4b) The students all left. (5a) Kare ha jussatsu no hon wo yonda. (He read ten books.) (5b) Kareha hon wo jussatsu yonda. (He read books for ten.) The ordinal number strongly relates with sequential scanning. (6a) Zwei Kaffee. (Two coffees.) (6b) Zweimal Kaffee. (Coffee two times.) (7a) He had three colds this winter. (7b) He had cold three times this winter. (8a) He stayed there for ten days. (8b) He left there on the tenth day. (Hopi language) “Ni” of locative particle in Japanese shows the thing (place) and is scanned summarily, and although “de” of locative particle signifies the thing (place), it shows the process of the event in the place and is scanned sequentially. (10a) Hondana ni chikyugi ga aru. (There is a terrestrial globe on the bookshelf.) (10b) Koudou de sotsugyoshiki ga aru. (We hold a commencement at the hall.) Also, “ni” particle is scanned summarily whereas “wo” particle is scanned sequentially. (11a) Mono arau mae ni hotaru no hutatsu mitsu. (A couple of fireflies can be seen when I have a wash.) (11b) Mono arau mae wo hotaru no hutatsu mitsu. (A couple of fireflies can be seen flying when I wash things.) We scan “mo” particle summarily and “de mo” particle sequentially. (12a) Kono mise no gohan ha itsu mo oishii. (Food of this restaurant is always good.) (12b) Kono mise no gohan ha itsu de mo oishii. (Food of this restaurant is good on every occasion.) “tsunagari (sequence)" and “Hitotsunagari (a sequence)”. The former invokes sequential scanning, whereas the latter summary scanning. In conclusion, when we see the aspect as a single gestalt and singular, we scan the situation summarily, whereas when we focus on the elements and see them in time, we scan it sequentially.