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Japanese phrase structure and parameter setting

Masanobu Ueda, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Abstract

The goal of this dissertation is to examine the nature of Japanese phrase structure and the related parametric differences in syntax between English and Japanese.^ In chapter 1, I will present some basic concepts and principles of the framework of the principles and parameters theory within which the present study is conducted.^ In chapter 2, I will argue that Japanese clauses (S and S') are IPs and CPs, respectively, and that the "subject" of S is in the specifier position of IP, and is assigned nominative Case by Infl. I will then show that some of the observed syntactic differences between English and Japanese follow from the difference in the value of the directionality parameter of head-government and its interaction with other principles of UG.^ Chapter 3 is devoted to the examination of the internal structure of "noun phases" in Japanese. I will argue that noun phrases in Japanese are DPs, i.e., maximal projections of the functional category D.^ In chapter 4, I will propose an analysis of the so-called "major subjects" in Japanese. I will argue that major subjects originate in the specifier position of the "subject" DP, and raise to the specifier position of the higher empty Infl. I will show that the properties of major subjects follow from other independent properties of grammar in this analysis. ^

Subject Area

Language, Linguistics

Recommended Citation

Masanobu Ueda, "Japanese phrase structure and parameter setting" (January 1, 1990). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. Paper AAI9110225.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI9110225

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