Journal of East Asian Linguistics

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 183–222 | Cite as

Adjectives and the Copulas in Japanese

  • Kunio Nishiyama


This paper offers an analysis of two seemingly different types of adjectives in Japanese and claims that they share fundamentally similar phrase structures. One crucial hypothesis for this is that there is a phrase for predication (PredP) in the sense of Bowers (1993). Japanese adjectives show morphological corroboration for this phrase, which I refer to as the predicative copula. This type of copula is distinct from another type of copula, which is a dummy and projects VP. The differences between the two types of adjectives are captured at the level of morphology, by utilizing the principles of Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz, 1993), which places morphology between the syntax and PF.


Phrase Structure Theoretical Language Similar Phrase Similar Phrase Structure Japanese Adjective 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kunio Nishiyama
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of HumanitiesIbaraki UniversityBunkyo, MitoJapan

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