Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 27–42 | Cite as

Complex Predicates, Aspect, and Anti-reconstruction

  • Jonathan D. BobaljikEmail author
  • Susi Wurmbrand
Original Paper


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 predicates Reconstruction Restructuring Japanese Aspect VP-structure 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of LinguisticsUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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