Floating Quantifiers in Japanese as Adverbial Anaphora

  • Kei YoshimotoEmail author
  • Masahiro Kobayashi
Part of the Studies in Linguistics and Philosophy book series (SLAP)


A surface-based analysis of so-called floating quantifiers (FQs) in Japanese is proposed based on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Minimal Recursion Semantics. We hypothesize that sentences with FQs, as other sentences, are processed incrementally from left to right and that an FQ has an independent semantic representation as NP that is anaphorically related to its antecedent. On these assumptions, we account for the asymmetry between the subject and object in terms of the quantification by a non-adjacent FQ. We also address a kind of FQ construction that has hitherto escaped the researchers’ attention, that with a whole-part relationship between the FQ and its host, and show that it is explained by the framework we bring forward.


Floating quantifier Japanese Head-driven phrase structure grammar Minimal recursion semantics Information structure 



We wish to express our gratitude to the reviewers and participants at LENLS 2005 for suggestions and comments on our earlier work whose outline appeared as Yoshimoto, Kobayashi, Nakamura and Mori (2006). Thanks are also due to the editor and two anonymous reviewers of SLAP for valuable advice.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for the Advancement of Higher Education and Graduate School of International Cultural StudiesTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Education CenterTottori UniversityTottoriJapan

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