Multiple Subject Constructions in Japanese: A Dynamic Syntax Account

  • Hiroaki Nakamura
  • Kei Yoshimoto
  • Yoshiki Mori
  • Masahiro Kobayashi
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5447)


Though Multiple Subject Constructions have long received much attention mainly from syntactic points of view because they show distinctive features of languages like Japanese, a unified treatment which tries to translate MSCs into appropriate semantic representations/logical forms has not been proposed yet. This study presents how logical structures of MSCs are built up in a time-linear parsing perspective. We highlight an important semantic feature of a set of common nouns often called relational nouns which enables the layers of predication to be formed in MSCs. This group of nouns inherently have an extra variable inside, which can be bound by the preceding subjects in MSCs. We argue that subjects are licensed not by argument structures of verbs but by open propositions in Japanese stative sentences, and show that our analysis can account for some asymmetries in extraction constructions, such as relative and cleft constructions.


Multiple Subject Construction relational noun major subject  Dynamic Syntax time-linear parsing 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hiroaki Nakamura
    • 1
  • Kei Yoshimoto
    • 2
  • Yoshiki Mori
    • 3
  • Masahiro Kobayashi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Liberal ArtsJapan Coast Guard AcademyKure CityJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of International Cultural StudiesTohoku UniversityJapan
  3. 3.Doctoral Program in Linguistics and Literature, Graduate School of Humanities and Social SciencesUniversity of TsukubaJapan
  4. 4.University Education CenterTottori UniversityJapan

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