Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 159–196 | Cite as

A quantificational disclosure approach to Japanese and Korean internally headed relatives

  • Alexander Grosu
  • Fred Landman


Grosu (J East Asian Linguist 19:231–274, 2010) argues against analyses of Japanese and Korean internally headed relative clauses in terms of discourse anaphora and in favor of an analysis which postulates a functional category ChR (Choose Role) in the syntax of these constructions, the semantics of which allows quantificational disclosure. The present paper constitutes a follow-up on Grosu (2010), with the interrelated goals of (i) strengthening Grosu’s arguments against discourse anaphora approaches and in favor of a grammar-based quantificational disclosure approach, (ii) improving substantively on the syntactic and semantic characterization of the functional category ChR, and (iii) justifying the introduction of additional mechanisms that render that analysis adequate with respect to a substantially wider set of data types. The proposals made in the present paper strengthen Grosu’s central thesis, which is that, despite undeniable partial similarities to discourse anaphora, Japanese and Korean internally headed relatives are bona fide relatives. The paper shows the semantic fruitfulness of this analysis by discussing a series of examples of increasing semantic complexity and by arguing that Japanese and Korean internally headed relatives provide striking evidence for a semantic scope mechanism that has been independently discussed in the context of the semantics of plurality and cumulative readings, a mechanism that allows part of the meaning of (argument) noun phrases to take local (adverbial) scope.


Internally headed relative clauses Discourse anaphora Event semantics Scope dependencies Scopeless interpretations 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Linguistics DepartmentTel Aviv UniversityRamat AvivIsrael
  2. 2.

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