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An Applicative Approach to Major Object Constructions in East Asian Languages
Daiho Kitaoka
339-346 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


This paper provides an applicative analysis of Major Object Constructions (MOCs) in Japanese and Korean, in which a monotransitive verb appears to take two objects and the two objects hold a certain relation (e.g., possession). The paper proposes that a Major object is introduced by a Low Applicative (ApplL) head and a High Applicative (ApplH) head in Japanese and Korean, respectively, demonstrating that the applicative analysis explains properties of two objects in MOCs in these languages. It is also illustrated that the proposed analysis is compatible with a phase theory of applicative heads: ApplH is a phase head and ApplL is not. The paper extends the analysis to other major argument constructions in order to explain the movement restriction of the lower object. It is proposed that the restriction is an instance of a more general phenomenon caused by various Appl heads, i.e., Major Argument Intervention. The present work contributes to (i) theories of various applicative heads which have been employed mostly to analyze a dative argument or indirect object (e.g., Pylkkänen 2002, Cuervo 2003), (ii) theories of a phase, (iii) an analysis of the MOC in Japanese, which have been hitherto understudied due to the Double-o Constraint.

Published in

Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin
Table of contents
Printed edition: $410.00