Linguistics and Philosophy

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 3–44 | Cite as

A choice function approach to null arguments

  • Takeo KurafujiEmail author


Recently, null arguments have been treated as an ellipsis phenomenon, derived by PF-deletion or LF-copy under some kind of identity requirements. Focusing on Japanese null arguments, this paper argues that they are base-generated empty nominals which are interpreted via choice functions. The functional approach is supported by cases involving intermediate scope readings, missing antecedents, and implicational bridging. A less standard case of Japanese null arguments anteceded by QPs is also discussed and shown to be amenable to the choice functional analysis supplemented by a general requirement of structural parallelism.


Null arguments Choice functions Focus Deep anaphora Implicational bridging Scope parallelism Japanese 


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I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Veneeta Dayal for her constant support of my work in general and this project in particular. I also would like to thank Gennaro Chierchia, Hajime Hoji, Ikumi Imani, Magdalena Kaufmann, Stefan Kaufmann, Koji Kawahara, Yusuke Kubota, Kiyomi Kusumoto, Kenta Mizutani, Satoshi Oku, David Oshima, Masaki Sano, Osamu Sawada, Eri Tanaka, and Satoshi Tomioka as well as two anonymous Linguistics and Philosophy reviewers for their invaluable comments, criticisms, judgements, and/or suggestions. Previous versions of this paper were presented on several occasions and I am grateful to the audience at UConn, 2014, the 33rd meeting of the English Linguistic Society of Japan, 2015, Workshop on Japanese null arguments at the 153rd meeting of the Linguistic Society of Japan, 2016, and Machikaneyama Kotoba no Kai, 2016. My special thanks go to Yuta Sakamoto, the discussion with whom was very inspiring and beneficial. Needless to say, all errors are mine. This project was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15K02495.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ritsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

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