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Natural Language & Linguistic Theory

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 723–770 | Cite as

Spelling out the Double-o Constraint

  • Ken Hiraiwa
Article

Abstract

This article aims to elucidate the true nature of the so-called Double-o Constraint (DoC) in Japanese. The nature of the DoC has long been discussed in the literature since Harada’s work back in the 1970’s, but it has eluded a principled explanation. The DoC has been known to apply to certain domains and a careful study presented in this article shows that these domains correspond to phases. Thus, the DoC reduces to a PF constraint against realizing multiple occurrences of the accusative Case value within a single Spell-Out domain. Specifically, I argue that the DoC applies cyclically phase-by-phase and thus that the DoC provides solid evidence for the cyclic phase-based computation in the current minimalist theorizing (Chomsky 2001, 2004, 2008). If correct, Case in Japanese has two facets: a Case is valued in narrow syntax but its value is only realized at Spell-Out, at which point PF interface conditions apply. It is further suggested that the DoC reduces to a syntactic OCP (Obligatory Contour Principle). The DoC, therefore, is considered to be a case in which an apparently language-particular and hence peripheral phenomenon provides empirical support for the architecture of the Universal Grammar.

Keywords

Double-o Constraint Cyclic Spell-Out PF-Interface Case Language-Particular Process UG Obligatory Contour Principle 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishMeiji Gakuin UniversityTokyoJapan

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