Kiyoko Toratani

List of John Benjamins publications for which Kiyoko Toratani plays a role.


Subjects Cognition and language | Cognitive linguistics | Japanese linguistics | Theoretical linguistics


This article reports an interview with Robert D. Van Valin, Jr., which was held on March 2, 2023, with follow-up e-mail exchanges. Robert Van Valin is the primary developer of Role and Reference Grammar (RRG), a syntactic theory whose principles and commitments intersect with those of Cognitive… read more
This paper offers a cognitive semantic analysis of 185 nominal-nominal compounds that are used to express Japanese traditional colors (e.g., budoo-nezumi [grape-rat] ‘plum purple’). It explores the types of nominals adopted into compounds, the components’ semantic relations, and the types of… read more
Toratani, Kiyoko 2022 Introduction to the volumeThe Language of Food in Japanese: Cognitive perspectives and beyond, Toratani, Kiyoko (ed.), pp. 1–23 | Chapter
This chapter examines where the Japanese loanword sushi stands in its naturalization process into English. Application of Doi’s (2014) scale to usage of sushi in the Oxford English Dictionary shows it is midway through naturalization. The chapter questions the finding, pointing out the problems… read more
Toratani, Kiyoko 2019 Chapter 5. Classification of nominal compounds containing mimetics: A Construction Morphology perspectiveIdeophones, Mimetics and Expressives, Akita, Kimi and Prashant Pardeshi (eds.), pp. 101–134 | Chapter
In Japanese, some nominal compounds have mimetic components (Nominal Compounds with Mimetics (NCMs)) (e.g., zaazaa-buri [mimetic(the sound of heavy rain)-a fall(from the sky)] ‘a downpour’). This paper examines how mimetics participate in word-formation of nominal compounds, applying Construction… read more
Toratani, Kiyoko 2018 Particle drop of mimetics in Japanese: A Discourse Grammar approachTranscategoriality: A crosslinguistic perspective, Hancil, Sylvie, Danh Thành Do-Hurinville and Huy Linh Dao (eds.), pp. 39–60 | Article
Drawing on ideas from Discourse Grammar (Heine et al. 2013), this article examines characteristics of the Japanese reduplicated mimetics, arguing that they are transcategorial, able to function across different planes of grammar, either as mimetic adverbs belonging to Sentence Grammar (SG) or… read more
This study offers a Construction Morphology account of the organizational structure of the class of lexical compound verbs in Japanese, covering two newly proposed types (thematic and aspectual compound verbs) (Kageyama 2013) and two understudied types (prefixed and lexicalized type compound… read more
Toratani, Kiyoko 2015 Iconicity in the syntax and lexical semantics of sound-symbolic words in JapaneseIconicity: East meets West, Hiraga, Masako K., William J. Herlofsky, Kazuko Shinohara and Kimi Akita (eds.), pp. 125–141 | Article
This study offers a response to Akita (2013a) who proposes a relation between the lexical semantics of sound-symbolic words and their realizations in a syntactic structure, drawing on a universal lexical hierarchy termed the Lexical Iconicity Hierarchy (LIH). This study examines Akita’s proposal… read more
This paper examines the ability of a mimetic verb in Japanese (e.g. burabura ‘manner of swinging’ + suru ‘do’ → burabura-suru) to occur in different morphosyntactic environments. Following Van Valin (2013), it argues that two seemingly contradictory standpoints, a constructionist’s view… read more
Toratani, Kiyoko 2013 Iconicity in gotoochi-kitii ‘localized 
Hello Kitty’Iconic Investigations, Elleström, Lars, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg (eds.), pp. 43–62 | Article
This paper explores the form-meaning-referent relationship of a compound noun, gotoochi-kitii ‘localized Hello Kitty’, which denotes a small souvenir figurine featuring a Japanese commercial character, Hello Kitty. It argues that the diagrammatic iconicity observed in English noun-noun compounds (e. read more
This article discusses the role played by sound-symbolic forms (SSFs) in Motion event descriptions, focusing on the case of mimetics — SSFs — in Japanese. An examination of literary texts shows that mimetics occur not only as the secondary element to another Co-event specifying form but also as the… read more
Toratani, Kiyoko 2008 Split intransitivity in Japanese revisitedInvestigations of the Syntax–Semantics–Pragmatics Interface, Van Valin Jr., Robert D. (ed.), pp. 23–35 | Article
This paper revisits the question raised by Kishimoto (1996): what determines the unergative-unaccusative split in the behavior of the V1 in a Japanese deverbal nominal construction (V1-V2-gen N) (e.g., toke-kake-no yuki “the snow, almost melted”). While previous accounts (e.g., Tsujimura & Iida… read more