Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 27–42

Complex Predicates, Aspect, and Anti-reconstruction

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10831-006-9004-y

Cite this article as:
Bobaljik, J.D. & Wurmbrand, S. J East Asian Linguist (2007) 16: 27. doi:10.1007/s10831-006-9004-y


This paper contrasts two families of approaches to certain affixal verb constructions in Japanese, with particular emphasis on the ’potential’ construction. Scope facts in this construction have been offered as support for complex predicate analyses, in which there is no syntactic constituent consisting of the object and lower verb, to the exclusion of the potential head -rare. We provide a variety of arguments, primarily from aspectual modification properties, which strongly challenge this family of approaches and favor instead VP-complementation approaches in which the potential head selects a thematically complete VP complement. Finally, we show how the scope facts may be accommodated on such a viewpoint, drawing connections to similar properties with other restructuring configurations cross-linguistically.


Complex predicatesReconstructionRestructuringJapaneseAspectVP-structure

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA