GROUNDING AND DEIXIS: A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO THE GROUNDING PHENOMENON IN JAPANESE NARRATIVE
The present study proposes a composite and comprehensive cognitively-based framework which may account for the grounding phenomenon in Japanese narrative. The framework is based on two distinct but complementary approaches to narrative analysis, namely, grounding analysis (as developed by Hopper and Thompson 1980, and further refined by Fleischman 1990) and Deictic Shift Theory (Duchan, Bruder, and Hewitt 1995). Grounding1 is the Gestalt perspective of figure vs. ground spatial contrast in cognitive psychology. In narrative studies, the perceptual (visual) contrast of grounding is translated into textual feature. It is also considered as feature of such grounding that it characterizes certain parts of the narrative as more psychologically salient (foreground) than others. The present study undertakes to show that a foregrounded segment is most likely to coincide with an element that signals a shift of the deictic center2.This claim challenges the fundamental findings derived from the traditional notion of grounding as proposed by Hopper and Thompson (1980). Unlike their morpho-syntactic driven notion of grounding—which is based on verbal transitivity it is found in the present study that low transitive linguistic elements, such as perceptual and mental predicates, can be foregrounded, enabling readers to access the narrator’s consciousness without mediation.