Reconstructing the Proto-Japonic kakari musubi *ka.. -(a)m-wo

Rumiko Shinzato (Georgia Institute of Technology)
Leon A. Serafim (University of Hawaii)

Using Okinawan (Ok) and 0ld Japanese (OJ) corresponding forms, this paper reconstructs a subtype of Proto-Japonic (PJ) kakari musubi, *...ka... (a)m-wo (with kakari particle *ka and inferential auxiliary *-(a)m-, plus adnominal suffix *-wo), a syntactic construction in which speakers pose questions to themselves. The construdion in Ok is, and that in OJ is ka...(a)mu. Since the constructions in the two languages agree on too many points to have come about independently, they are descended from a construction existing in their ancestral language, PJ. The paper describes ka-type kakari musubi in OJ, with and without the inferential auxiliary, in the process delinearting the pragmatics of the construction subtypes. It then describes Ok ga-type kakari musubi, and the relation on Ok to two inferential forms. It compares the constructions in the two languages, and then explains the changes the PJ construction underwent in order to become the observed constructions in them.