Demonstratives ( ko-so-a(-do) words)

Authored by: Naomi H. McGloin , Mutsuko Endo Hudson , Fumiko Nazikian , Tomomi Kakegawa

Modern Japanese Grammar

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  March  2017

Print ISBN: 9780415571999
eBook ISBN: 9780203856628
Adobe ISBN: 9781135151393


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There is a series of demonstrative words in Japanese, whose initial sounds are ko-, so-, a- and do-; e.g. kore ‘this thing,’ sore ‘that thing,’ are ‘that thing far away,’ dore ‘which one of the three or more things?’. Do-words are interrogatives (question words). The choice of ko-, so- and a- depends on the distance between the speakers and thing(s) referred to by the demonstrative. Ko-words are used when the speaker is talking about something close to him-/herself, so-words for something close to the listener, and a-words for something away from both the speaker and the listener.

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