2017 Volume 31 Issue 2 Pages 99-115
Although semantic roles of the Japanese case particle de have been studied from varied angles, relatively few studies have attempted to incorporate a quantitative approach into examination of its usage. The author, therefore, conducted a quantitative analysis of the Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese (BCCWJ) and assigned twenty-four semantic role codes to seven hundred text samples taken from the corpus. Then, the author investigated (1)what kind of features each of the twenty-four semantic roles had, (2)how often each of them occurred in the attested data, (3)how they were classified, and (4)to which extent each of them deviated from the prototypical semantic role. The frequency-based investigation has proven that (1')each semantic role is embodied by a highly limited set of collocating nouns, (2')place-related semantic roles occur most often, and they are followed by measure/ situation-related semantic roles, (3')semantic roles can be classified into a core group (place, measures, reasons, state) and the others, and (4')the distances from the prototype are roughly in accordance with those suggested in the radial category model.