Role of Tense, Aspect, and Modality in Japanese Subjunctive Constructions

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Previous studies on Japanese tense and aspect have claimed that the primary difference between the Japanese affixes -ta and -teita is one of aspect, in that -ta is a perfective aspectual marker, while -teita is an imperfective aspectual marker that can also denote perfect aspect. In comparison, fewer studies have addressed their contrast in terms of tense and modality relationships. The goal of this study is to explain the -ta/-teita contrast from the three perspectives of tense, aspect, and modality, specifically in the case of subjunctives or counterfactual conditional constructions in Japanese. The analyses will employ concepts such as backshifting in tense, perceptual observation, and the derivational use of the modal daroo. Additionally, empirical evidence from native speakers' spoken corpus data will be drawn upon to explicate the frequent uses of -teiru and -teita in Japanese subjunctive constructions.



tense, aspect, modality, counterfactuals, subjunctives, backshifting in tense, perceptual observation


Ananth, Priya. "Role of Tense, Aspect, and Modality in Japanese Subjunctive Constructions." Buckeye East Asia: Occasional Papers, vol. 1 (February 2022), p. 1-12.