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Shōshi(Ⅰ) of God Names in Ancient Japanese

  • 日本硏究
  • 2015, (38), pp.263-285
  • Publisher : The Center for Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Japanese Language and Literature
  • Published : February 20, 2015

CHOI, KUN SIK 1

1부경대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This is to discover the characteristics of shōshi (praise morphemes) employed in god names by comparing them with those used in general words, which were revealed by Kaneko (1977). This study shows that most of the praise prefixes found in general words were also used in god names, except for a few prefixes such as yasu (安) and toFo (遠). kēzyōgeɴ (adjectival root) type of shōshi such as oFo (大), toyo (豊), mi (御), waka (若) and take (武) are most frequently found in god names owing to their semantic implications. mi was frequently used with another praise morpheme; it was the old and most common praise morpheme, being also used as an honorific form. The level of praise goes up with more praise morphemes as in -kami (神), -oFo-kami (大神), and –oFo-mi-kami (大御神). Gods’ world was described as a fictional superhuman word, which was far beyond the realm and limits of human beings. To express Gods’ dignity, awe and respect, supernatural power, and mystique, certain affixes for deity and divinity were required in god names. This study deals with a part (Class I) of the affixes. Another study is expected to discuss shōshi of Class II and III, which are related to spell and shamanistic faith. The author argued in an earlier study that oFo, waka, and wo (小) used in contradistinctive names came to acquire a new function of showing seniority from the old one of expressing praise. The question of how affixes of Class I, II, and III were realized in human names found in Sekichō (籍帳) and Ki-Shoki (記・書紀) still remains to be answered.

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