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Academic Paper


Title: The mechanism of inverted relativization in Japanese: A silent linker and inversion
Author: Ken Hiraiwa
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://alum.mit.edu/www/hiraiwa
Institution: Meiji Gakuin University
Linguistic Field: Semantics; Syntax
Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin
Japanese
Korean
Abstract: Japanese has two peculiar types of relative clause (RC), No-RCs and De-RCs. In these types of relative clause, what looks like a (pivot) head noun appears at the left edge of the clause and is accompanied by no and de, respectively. This sharply contrasts with regular prenominal relative clauses in Japanese, which conform to the head-final word order pattern. The aim of this article is to investigate the syntax and semantics of these two types of relative clause in detail and reveal differences between them. Specifically, I will propose that (i) no in No-RCs is an appositive genitive particle licensed by a silent head, and (ii) de in De-RCs is a continuative/participial form of the copula da. Drawing a parallel with NP-no NP constructions and building on an idea from S.-Y. Kuroda's dissertation, it will be argued that No-RCs are derived by DP-internal inversion mediated by the linker. On the other hand, De-RCs will be shown to be relatives conjoined with the copula de. It will be further suggested that the fact that Korean and Mandarin Chinese lack equivalents of De-RCs is due to the absence of the appositive genitive particle and hence of DP-internal inversion.

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This article appears IN Journal of Linguistics Vol. 48, Issue 2.

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