Complex Predicates, Aspect, and Anti-reconstruction Original Paper First Online: 25 November 2006 Received: 27 August 2005 Accepted: 23 June 2006 DOI:
Cite this article as: Bobaljik, J.D. & Wurmbrand, S. J East Asian Linguist (2007) 16: 27. doi:10.1007/s10831-006-9004-y Abstract
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. Keywords Complex predicates Reconstruction Restructuring Japanese Aspect VP-structure
For discussion of the material presented here, and judgements on examples, we are grateful to Kimiko Nakanishi, Masashi Nomura, Mamoru Saito, Tomokazu Takehisa, Kazuko Yatsushiro, and the JEAL editors and reviewers, as well as the audiences at CLA 2003 (Halifax) and JK-14 (Tucson). Parts of this research were funded by a grant from the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture.
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