Effect of the Viewpoint on the Appearance of the Subject in Japanese and its Translation to Chinese

KATO Haruko

In Japanese, the subject of a sentence is frequently absent, but it does not obscure the meaning of the sentence due to the grammatical factors such as (A)person restrictions, (B)benefactive expressions, (C)passive forms. In case of Japanese novels, fixed viewpoint, in other words integration with the character, also enables the zero-subject to avoid ambiguity, often with the support of the above factors. It becomes effective when the author fixes the narrative’s viewpoint mainly to one of the characters in the story, as if the author has worn the "costume" of that person. In contrast, a subject is usually explicitly indicated in Chinese novels because the above factors can not be fully utilized, and also because the viewpoint occasionally switches within the narrative.