東北大学大学院文学研究科・文学部 英語学研究室



Maya Suzuki (2024) On Labeling: Implications for Movement


This thesis explores a new labeling mechanism within the Minimalist Framework, investigating both its theoretical and empirical consequences. More precisely, this thesis addresses two controversial questions within labeling theory: (i) how XP-YP configurations are labeled and (ii) how the (in)visibility of lower copies of a phrase is derived with respect to labeling. We demonstrate that the proposed labeling mechanism offers a principled account of a wide range of movement phenomena such as stranding/pied-piping.

In Chapter 1, after providing an overview of the history of the discussions concerning labels in Chomsky (1995a, b and his subsequent works), we present some problems of his latest study on labeling, particularly Chomsky (2013, 2015), by contrasting it with Mizuguchi’s (2019) alternative labeling system. Then, we demonstrate certain issues to be clarified under their labeling systems by considering the distribution of the wh-associated exactly, which sets the stage for proposing a new labeling mechanism. We propose that labeling applies upon transfer to the phasal complement in a bottom-up fashion. In our proposal, ambiguous labeling of an XP-YP configuration is possible, but if one of its constituents is a lower copy of a phrase, then the other is designated as the label of the set. Moreover, we propose that copy invisibility to labeling can be attributed to the timing of the label determination of copies: the determination of the label of copies is put off and the copies receive the same label across the board when bottom-up labeling detects the topmost copy in the transfer domain. We argue that this across-the-board labeling to copies follows from economy considerations: it minimizes the number of applications of search and labeling.

The subsequent chapters of this thesis explore the consequences of our proposed labeling mechanism, focusing on movement phenomena.

Chapter 2 mainly concerns stranding phenomena. Under our proposal, a set forming an XP-YP configuration is labeled ambiguously while when one of the two constituents forming the set undergoes Internal Merge (IM), the other is unambiguously selected as the label of the set. The outcomes of labeling are subsequently evaluated and interpreted at the interfaces. Given our proposal, it is predicted that if the XP label of {XP, YP} is required at the conceptual-intentional (CI) interface and XP undergoes IM out of the set, the labeled outcome is ruled out because of a violation of the interface condition. On the other hand, when the entire set stays in situ or undergo IM as a single unit, the labeled outcome is ruled in because XP can become the label of the set so that the interface condition is met. Chapter 2 demonstrates that this prediction is correct through the analysis of three phenomena: (i) the wh-associated exactly-stranding, (ii) quantifier float and (iii) VP-adverb-stranding VP-preposing. We also show that our approach to exactly-stranding is more adequate theoretically and empirically than a previous study, Zyman (2022). In addition, we demonstrate that our labeling-based analysis of quantifier float provides a theoretical explanation for Bošković’s (2004: 685) generalization that quantifiers cannot be floated in θ-positions. Moreover, we also discuss VP-adverb-stranding VP-ellipsis in comparison to the cases of VP-preposing in terms of labeling.

Chapter 3 is primarily dedicated to pied-piping phenomena in which the entire XP-YP configuration undergoes IM. This thesis proposes that copies of an SO are assigned the same label within a single transfer domain in an across-the-board manner. This suggests that if the copies are separated by a transfer domain, they can be labeled differently; otherwise, they cannot. Chapter 3 first analyzes massive pied-piping as a phenomenon in which the copies of {XP, YP} satisfy more than one criterion by receiving different labels. Though this approach would face the issue of criterial freezing (Rizzi (2006)) in the sense that we assume that the massively pied-piped phrase undergoes IM to criterial positions twice, adopting Maeda’s (2019) feature-relativized criterial freezing, we argue that this in fact does not pose any problem for our proposal. Subsequently, we account for such constructions as degree fronting, exclamatory constructions and discontinuous spellout. In these cases, the copies of {XP, YP} are analyzed as labeled differently so that the verb’s selectional requirement is met in the original position and the criterial requirement is satisfied in the final landing site.

Hirokazu Tsutsumi (2022) Scope Economy and Scope Reconstruction


This thesis investigates the mechanisms of scope assignment in the framework of generative grammar. On the standard assumption of generative grammar that the scopes of quantificational expressions are encoded in the logical form (LF) of sentences in terms of C-command relations, quantificational noun phrases expand and diminish their scopes via processes such as quantifier raising, scrambling, and quantifier lowering. The purpose of this study is to present a unified theory of scope assignment for two languages with different characteristics: English, which uses covert operations for scope expansion, and Japanese, which uses overt operations.

Chapter 1 provides an overview of the theory of Scope Economy and the theory of scope reconstruction developed by Fox (2000), which form the basis of the discussions in this thesis. The Scope Economy condition requires that the optional applications of covert scope shifting operations, consisting of quantifier raising and quantifier lowering, not be semantically vacuous. Comparing the two competing analyses of scope reconstruction, the syntactic analysis and the semantic analysis, Fox argues in favor of the former and against the latter based on the basis of the observation that the scope reconstruction in how-many questions correlates with the reconstruction for Condition C of the binding theory.

Chapter 2 investigates scrambling in Japanese. After pointing out the problems for Fox’s (2000) original Scope Economy condition and its adaptation to Japanese by previous studies such as Miyagawa (2006) and Takahashi (2008), this chapter proposes a revision of the Scope Economy. The revised Scope Economy condition requires that optional upward movement, whether covert as in quantifier raising in English or overt as in scrambling in Japanese, leaves a trace of the same semantic type as the antecedent, i.e., undergoes semantic reconstruction, if it is semantically vacuous. The theory provides a unified explanation for the clause boundedness of quantifier raising in English (May (1985) and the obligatory scope reconstruction of long-distance scrambling in Japanese ((Oka (1989), Tada (1993)), as well as for the scopal properties of the discourses that involve VP ellipsis and argument ellipsis (Takahashi (2008)).

Chapter 3 provides further support for the revised Scope Economy condition based on a discussion of the Japanese left-branch extraction construction. We will observe that in this construction, the left-branch noun phrase is not assigned a scope at the landing site, but undergoes obligatory scope reconstruction to the Spec, DP of the host noun phrase, and that the scope reconstruction in this construction does not induce the Condition C reconstruction effect. I will argue that the movement of the left-branch noun phrase from the Spec, DP of the host noun phrase to the vP adjoined position is semantically vacuous and must leave a trace of type according to the revised Scope Economy condition. I will also argue that the lack of Condition C reconstruction effects in this construction provides empirical evidence in favor of the semantic analysis of reconstruction.

Chapter 4 offers a choice function analysis of how-many questions. According to it, how many NP’s are not generalized quantifiers, but one place predicates (sets of individuals), which are mapped to individuals by choice functions. The apparent quantificational force of how many NP’s is not inherent in them, but is attributed to the existential closure rule, which binds the choice function variables that apply to them. Accordingly, the scope reconstruction of how many NP’s is reanalyzed as the application of existential closure to subordinate clauses. I will argue that this construction employs syntactic reconstruction not because it is the only strategy for scope reconstruction allowed in human languages, as Fox (2000) stipulates, but because it is the only way to bind the choice function variables that are associated with how many NP’s.

Takaaki Hirokawa (2021) Syntactic Relationships between Two Clauses: the View from Conparative Correlative and Quotative Inversion Constructions


This thesis investigates syntactic relationships between multiple clauses occurring in Comparative Correlative and Quotative Inversion constructions in English, within the latest framework of generative grammar called the Minimalist Program. These two constructions have received sporadic attention since the early days of generative grammar, yet no conclusive analyses have been offered concerning their structures and derivations. The purpose of this thesis is to present hitherto unnoticed facts concerning the structures and derivations of the two constructions, and to propose better analyses.

Chapter 2 investigates the syntax and derivation of English Comparative Correlatives. In the literature, the second/last clause in the Comparative Correlative has been assumed to be the main clause of the construction on the basis of several empirical facts. Following the previous analyses, I will assume that the second/last clause is the main clause. I will then focus on the structural relationships between the clauses, and propose that the first clause is base-generated in the surface position in some cases, and in other cases, it is base-generated in the complement position of the verb in the second clause and subsequently moves to the surface position. It will be shown that the proposed analysis can correctly account for the conflicting observations regarding where the first clause is base-generated.

Chapter 3 turns to the other construction, the Quotative Inversion construction. I will focus on the restrictions imposed on inversion in Quotative Inversion constructions. It has been assumed in the literature that the Quotative Inversion disallows complex sentences involving the verbs taking clausal complements: both verbs with finite clausal complements, and verbs with non-finite clausal complements. I will, however, provide hitherto unnoticed facts that the subset of the obligatory control verbs can undergo Quotative Inversion along with their infinitival complements. To account for the contrast, I will argue that exhaustive control verbs are, but partial control predicates are not, compatible with Quotative Inversion, and that the availability of Quotative Inversion is regulated in terms of constraints on Head Movement and movement of the quotative operator. It will be demonstrated that the proposed analysis can correctly capture the (un)availability of Quotative Inversion in various syntactic context.

Chapter 4 concludes the thesis.

Lee Chein-Man (2021) Ellipsis in Chinese


This dissertation presents a study on ellipsis phenomena in Chinese including argument ellipsis, sluicing, and verb phrase ellipsis by addressing three issues: what conditions license elements to be missing, how missing elements are represented syntactically and how the missing elements are properly interpreted.

In chapter 2, I will investigate null argument ellipsis in Chinese, where the interpretation of null subjects is more restricted than that of null objects. After critically reviewing and pointing out some problems with three previous analyses proposed by Li (2014), Takahashi (2014), and Sato (2018b), I will provide an alternative analysis of the subject-object asymmetry, which claims that null objects are derived either by argument ellipsis (LF-copying) or by null operator movement, whereas null subjects are derived by moving empty operators to Spec of CP. I will attribute the asymmetry between null subjects and objects to the Extended Projection Principle (EPP) effect feature of the tense T in Chinese.

In chapter 3, I will attempt to examine the two types of competing previousresearches on sluicing in Chinese. I will propose that we need to posit two distinct types of derivation for sluicing in Chinse: one is a wh-movement and deletion proposed by Wang and Wu (2006) and the other is a null pro-form proposed by Wei (2011). I will show that a particular instance of sluicing in Chinese will be grammatical if there is at least one way of deriving it which satisfies all relevant conditions, whereas it will be ungrammatical if neither of the two derivations yields a convergent outcome.

In chapter 4, I will investigate verb phrase ellipsis in Chinese. Previous studies assume that verb phrase ellipsis in Chinese involves the shi construction and the Aux construction, and that the shi construction is much more limited in distribution, as compared with the Aux construction. I will try to account for differences between these elliptical constructions by proposing that the Aux construction actually instantiates VP ellipsis, whereas the shi construction involves the remnant movement from deleted TP under the assumption that shi occupies the head of Focus phrase proposed by Rizzi (1997). I will argue that the proposed analysis provides a unified account for differences between these elliptical constructions.

Shogo Saito (2020) Derivations from Syntax to Phonology and Their Constraints


This thesis investigates restrictions on various linguistic operations and phenomena within the latest framework of generative grammar called the Minimalist Program (MP), which assumes two kinds of constraints: (i) constraints regarding the principle of efficient computation and (ii) bare output conditions or interface conditions.

In chapter 2, I will investigate applications of some counter-cyclic operation called Late Merge (LM), which is empirically motivated but diverges from efficient computation. Given the Phase Theory, which ensures efficient computation, I will propose to restrict applications of LM by a phase-based condition on syntactic operations, i.e. Phase Impenetrability Condition. Then, the proposed analysis limits applications of LM to syntactically accessible domains under the proposed phase-based derivation.

In chapter 3, I will explain restrictions on various phonological phenomena as a consequence of Labeling Algorithm (LA), which is originally proposed by Chomsky (2013) for interpretation of SOs at interfaces. After pointing out some problem with Chomsky’s LA, I propose a new labeling mechanism based on Copy Deletion whereby an XP-YP structure can be labeled through Copy Deletion within Narrow Syntax. This proposal divides copies into two types in terms of their necessity for labeling and their interpretability at interfaces: copies unnecessary for labeling are deleted within Narrow Syntax, and hence cannot be interpreted at interfaces. In contrast, copies necessary for labeling are not deleted and hence can be interpreted at interfaces. The proposed labeling mechanism provides a straightforward account of various phonological phenomena in terms of Copy Deletion.

In chapter 4, I will attempt to deduce restrictions on some ellipsis and movement from an interface condition for providing legitimate phonological outputs. This attempt is based on Sato and Dobashi’s (2016) phonological analysis of the that-trace effect, according to which extraction is banned if its phonological output is illegitimate. I will extend their analysis to other cases such as VP-ellipsis and preposition stranding movement. Specifically, I propose that these phenomena are prohibited if their phonological representations are illegitimate while they are allowed if the phonological illegitimacies are repaired in some way.

Ryosuke Sato (2019) A Study of English Nominal Expressions in the Minimalist Program


This dissertation aims to reconsider the external behavior and internal structures of English nominal expressions in terms of syntax. Chapter 1 observes how generative grammar has tried to capture the similarities and differences between noun phrases and sentences. To capture the parallelism between the two, Chomsky (1970) proposed the X-bar theory, which is confronted with a problem concerning gerunds. To solve this problem, Abney (1987) proposed the DP hypothesis, and analyzed the three types of gerunds in detail. However, Abney’s analysis also faces some problems concerning ellipsis. In addition, it is unclear what kind of categories D can select. I will try to solve these problems throughout the thesis.

In Chapter 2, after briefly introducing technical apparatuses in DM, I consider the structure of deverbal nominals, such as criticism, based upon the observation in previous analyses. Then, I explain the fact that deverbal nominals can be an antecedent of verb phrase ellipsis, while verb phrases cannot function as an antecedent of ellipsis in deverbal nominals. I account for this contrast in terms of the syntactic identity condition on ellipsis, rather than morphological mismatches. I also show that the proposed analysis can explain ellipsis in deadjectival nominals such as prettiness. Further, I show how verb phrase ellipsis is reanalyzed if the present analysis is correct. In addition, I demonstrate the importance of the syntactic identity condition on ellipsis by considering gapping in nominals.

Chapter 3 tries to explain the similarities and differences among the three types of gerunds: nominal gerunds (such as the girl’s reading of the sonnet), genitive gerunds (such as the girl’s reading the sonnet), and clausal gerunds (such as the girl reading the sonnet). Concretely, I explain the fact that nominal gerunds and genitive gerunds can be elided while clausal gerunds cannot. For this purpose, I analyze the three types of gerunds in terms of the Labeling Algorithm in Chomsky (2013, 2015). I argue that the labels of nominal gerunds and genitive gerunds are determined to be DP by the standard Agreement whereas the label of clausal gerunds is specified as NP by nominal feature sharing. The proposed analyses can not only account for the facts observed in the previous studies but also explain facts concerning ellipsis in principled ways.

Chapter 4 is dedicated to explaining the facts in sentence initial clauses. On the one hand, it is observed that sentence initial that clauses (as in That John hit Mary is obvious) can behave as if they were normal subjects. For instance, they allow Subject Auxiliary Inversion, as other nominal subjects do. On the other hand, it is known that that clauses show the Condition C bleeding effects. In addition, a pronoun in that clauses can have a bound-variable reading. In fact, they allow the Condition C bleeding effects and bound-variable readings of pronouns at the same time. To account for this paradoxical behavior, I argue that sentence initial that clauses are base-generated in the (outer) Spec of TP and that bound-variable readings of pronouns are ensured by the mechanisms in Moulton (2013). The proposed analysis also explains scope relations in that clauses. In addition, the analysis can easily be carried over to the analysis of sentence initial to infinitives (as in For John to hit Mary is difficult) and the corresponding “displaced” constructions, namely, the it-that and it-for-to constructions (as in It is obvious that John hit Mary and It was difficult for John to hit Mary).

Chapter 5 concludes the thesis.

Takanori Nakashima (2018) Mismatches between Forms and Interpretations in Minimalist Syntax


This dissertation explores how the mismatches between forms and interpretations mentioned above are explained in the minimalist framework.

Chapter 2 defends the view that Neg-Raising is derived by syntactic movement of not to the matrix clause (Collins and Postal (2014)), and discuss how the chain created by movement of not is interpreted. I will propose that Neg-Raising is driven by licensing of not from the head of MoodPspeech act in the sense of Chinque (1999), and that the head of the chain created by Neg-Raising encodes the speaker’s uncertainty or subjective judgment via licensing from the head of MoodPspeech act, whereas the tail encodes negation by virtue of semantic reconstruction into the base position. This proposal provides a principled explanation for some descriptive generalizations about Neg-Raising that are observed by Collins and Postal (2014).

Chapter 3 defends the view that rhetorical questions are derived syntactically. After pointing out some problems with Caponigro and Sprouse (2007), who claims that rhetorical questions are derived pragmatically, I will propose a new syntactic analysis based on Coniglio and Zegrean’s (2012) cartographic approach to illocutionary force. The proposed analysis not only accounts for the data problematic to the pragmatic approach, but also explains some properties of rhetorical questions, such as scopal property of negative interpretation, distribution in peripheral adverbial clauses, prosodic characters, and relative ordering in the left-peripheral positions.

Chapter 4 argues that the A/A' asymmetry with respect to reconstruction effects is attributed to neither the asymmetry of Case assignment (Takahashi and Hulsey (2009)) nor that of Transfer domain (Sportiche (2015)). Then, I will account for the asymmetry in terms of A/A' movement in terms of Labeling Algorithm proposed by Chomsky (2013, 2015). The proposed analysis provides argument for the view that structure building in natural language is cyclic.

Masashi Totsuka (2015) On Phasehood of Functional Categories in the Left Periphery


This thesis addresses new issues regarding two ongoing research programs: Minimalism and Cartography. In Minimalism, Chomsky (2000 et seq.) proposes the phase theory that restricts application of elementary syntactic operations. On the other hand, in Cartography, Rizzi (1997, 2004) pursues the Split CP hypothesis to investigate the fine details of syntactic structures of a wide variety of languages. Each approach has great achievements, but the approach unifying the two theories has not fully been addressed in the past. In this thesis, I will investigate how we can unify Minimalism and Cartography. To tackle this issue, I begin with the more specific question of which head of the left-peripheral functional categories purported under the Cartographic approach is a phase head in the sense of Minimalism. As an answer for this question, I propose that the heads Force and Top are phase heads while the heads Foc and Fin are not. I will demonstrate that my proposal gives a unified account for a large variety of syntactic phenomena in each chapter.>/p>

In chapter 2, I will focus on the asymmetry of the heads Top and Foc. Showing that the former is a phase head while the latter is not, my proposal provides a unified account of three asymmetries between Topicalization and Focalization in English. First, Topicalization induces a syntactic island from which extraction of elements is banned, while Focalization does not form a syntactic island. Second, Focalization can cause Subject-Aux Inversion (SAI) in embedded clauses, whereas Topicalization cannot. Third, Topicalization shows a comma pause, while Focalization does not.

In chapter 3, I will explore the property of the phase head Force in root CP clauses. The phase heads Transfers their complements into the two interfaces: the Conceptual-Intentional system (C-I or LF) and the Sensorimotor system (SM or PF), with syntax as the mediation between them. However, in root CP, the highest projection ForceP remains untransferred. In particular, I will focus on the cases in which the head Force and the specifier of Force in root CP are not Transferred at the point of convergence of derivations. The untransferred head and edge are not sent into the two interfaces and, specifically, not sent into the PF interface and therefore are not pronounced. I will show that these cases do exist as a number of syntactic phenomena: Aux-drop, gapping, particle-stranding ellipsis in Japanese, German Topic-drop, and Subject-drop in English.

In chapter 4, I will investigate the difference between finite CP and infinitival CP clauses. Specifically, the two types of CP clauses differ from each other in that finite CP clauses have layered functional structures while infinitival CP clauses havedefective functional structures. Moreover, I propose that the head Force in finite CP clauses behaves as a phase head while the head Force in infinitival CP clauses does not. In implementing my proposal, I utilize Distinctness introduced by Richards (2010). This condition bans two identically labeled constituents from being linearized in the same syntactic domain. Although it can uniformly explain a variety of syntactic phenomena, this condition has some problems and I will demonstrate that my proposal solves these problems.

Motoki Sato (2014) The Syntax of VP-Ellipsis


This dissertation, focusing on ellipsis and movement phenomena, attempts to refine the notion of phase in phase theory developed in the current Minimalist Program (Chomsky (2000, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008)). This framework assumes that phases are the minimal units of linguistic computation. Syntactic operations, such as Merge, Move and Agree, apply at the phase level, and at the end of each phase, part of syntactic structure is simultaneously transferred to phonological and semantic components, thereby becoming inaccessible to further syntactic operations, so that the burden of computation is considerably reduced.

Our attempts to refine the concept of phase are divided into the following two parts. In the first part, we explore the issue of whether there are operations other than Merge, Move and Agree that apply at the phase level.We propose that Ellipsis is a phase-based operation, and demonstrate how this proposal can account for ellipsis phenomena. In particular, we argue that vP-ellipsis (VP-deletion) is triggered by the Silence feature on the phase head C, which is “inherited” by T (Chomsky (2008)).The proposal, together with the Phase Impenetrability Condition (Chomsky (2001)), can correctly account for the possible/impossible environment for vP-ellipsis in infinitival clauses. Furthermore, we show that noun phrases and sentences are parallel with respect to Ellipsis. This lends additional support to the hypothesis of the parallelism between noun phrases and sentences and the claim that DP is a phase. Finally, it is shown that out proposal and Chomsky’s assumption that syntactic derivation, semantic interpretation and phonetic interpretation apply at the same cycle/ phase, can account for some semantic phenomena which are relevant to the interaction between Ellipsis and interpretation.This provides a strong support for the notion of phase (Chapter 2).

In the second part, we argue for an even more restrictive view of movement than the conventional phase-based view that movement applies at the phase level. We propose that movable elements are restricted to phases. We show that this proposal can correctly account for the possibility or impossibility of movement in various constructions, including topicalization, cleft sentences, and pseudo-cleft sentences. In addition, we investigate the consequences of our proposal for (a) relative clauses, (b) the Left Branch Condition, (c) movement of passive and unaccusative vPs, (d) movement of small clauses to the subject position, and (e) movement of participle perception verb complements.Our claim that movable elements are restricted to phases requires us to reexamine the previous analyses of (a) and (b), since they involve movement of non-phases, and thus we attempt to offer an alternative analysis which conforms to our claim. We also show that, although (c)-(e) seem to involve movement of non-phases, these phenomena are not problems for our analysis, but rather support it (Chapter 3).

Hiroaki Emoto (2010) Ellipsis and Movement in Phase Theory


This dissertation is a close investigation of the syntax of VP-ellipsis. This thesis addresses the two major questions about ellipsis: (i) in which syntactic environments is VP-ellipsis licensed? (ii) to what extent and in what way is the elided VP identical to the antecedent VP? The first question concerns the licensing condition on ellipsis and the second question concerns the recoverability (or identity) condition on ellipsis. Chapter 2 investigates the licensing condition on ellipsis. Lobeck (1990, 1995) and Saito and Murasugi (1990) propose that an ellipsis site is the complement of the functional categories (C, T, D) whose specifier position is filled. Extending this licensing condition to the functional category v, I will claim that there are two types of VP-ellipsis: one is vP-deletion, licensed in the TP, and the other is VP-deletion, licensed in the vP. Chapter 3 investigates the recoverability condition on VP-ellipsis. Afterestablishing that the copula be moves out of VP-ellipsis sites, I will argue that an elided V and its trace/copy is subject to the strict morphosyntactic identity condition on ellipsis, which requires functional verbs as well as lexical ones to enter the syntactic derivation bare and acquire their inflection in the course of the derivation. Chapter 4 explores further consequences of the licensing condition on ellipsis. The Spec condition discussed in chapter 2 requires each specifier position to be filled to license the ellipsis of its complement. It follows from the Spec condition that the expletive there moves from the Spec of vP to the Spec of TP. I will provide further arguments for the low merger of there and present a phase-based analysis of there-insertion.

Satoru Kanno (2010) Finiteness and Specificity in the Minimalist Program


This dissertation investigates the syntactic and semantic roles of the features of phases. First, I explore the syntactic roles of the features of phases. I propose the determining condition of the phasehood of CP, which states that CP is a phase when C has both an Agree feature and a Tense feature. The proposal also states that CP is a non-phase when C does not have both of them or C does not have either of them. I argue that control complements have C that does not have both of them, that raising complements has C that lacks a Tense feature, and that tensed infinitives in Turkish have C that does not have an Agree feature. Therefore, these three types of clauses contrast with respect to Move and Agree with finite clauses whose C has both an Agree feature and a Tense feature, so that it works as a phase.

Next, I investigate the semantic roles of the features of phases. The proposal is that one way of checking an Agree feature excludes some of the possible interpretations of noun phrases. Focusing on indefinites, only a specific interpretation is assigned when they enter into an agreement relation with movement. It has been claimed that in the Germanic languages, semantic interpretations are determined by syntactic positions of subjects and objects. However, there is a growing number of papers that point out that forms of case and agreement morphemes correlate with the semantic interpretations. I argue that the main factor is positional differences of subjects and objects. I extend this claim to the internal structure of DPs.

Taichi Nakamura (2010) Aspects of the Theory of Merge


This dissertation explores within the Minimalist Program theoretical and empirical consequences of the theory of Merge proposed by Chomsky (2004, among others). We propose that the four types of Merge the theory allows are fully utilized in linguistic computation to fulfill several needs of the Conceptual-Intentional interface: (i) External Set-Merge forms a specifier-head-complement configuration and encodes a θ-theoretic (selectional) relation; (ii) External Pair-Merge produces a host-adjunct configuration and encodes a modification relation; (iii) Internal Set-Merge applies at non-final landing sites of movement and provides positions dedicated to no specific interface need such as reconstruction positions; (iv) Internal Pair-Merge applies at final landing sites of movement and provides discourse-related or scope positions.

Chapter 2 discusses empirical consequences of our proposed theory of Merge including an adjunction-based unification of subject and adjunct islands, a novel account of (Anti-)Freezing Effects, a substitution-based unification of Japanese scrambling and successive cyclic movement, and a PF-based characterization of EPP.

Chapter 3 examines interactions between our proposed theory of Merge and the theory of Agree, focusing on Rizzi’s (1990) Relativized Minimality principle. We address a problem concerning intervention effects and their repair by movement. Our solution to this problem by elaborating the chain mechanism not only simplifies the Minimality principle to much a greater degree but also offers a new perspective on the principle.

Chapter 4 investigates the issue of whether relative clauses are all Pair-Merged adjuncts or not. We consider what we call determiner-headed free relative clauses (DHFR), e.g. This is the what you do against the Rams, and show that the properties of DHFRs are easily accounted for by the adjunction-free, raising analysis of relative clauses but not by the adjunction-based, matching analysis. We thus support the view that the raising and matching analyses are both necessary to account for a wide range of properties of relative clauses.

Takahiro Tozawa (2009) Suntax of Subordinate Clauses in English: A Minimalist Approach


This thesis is an investigation of the resultative construction within the framework of X' Semantics. I propose that "resultative phrases" are modifiers in the semantic structure of verbs: "resultative phrases" added to sentences based on verbs of change of state are modifiers of the Stage predicate in the semantic structure of these verbs and "resultative phrases" added to sentences based on activity verbs are degree modifiers specifying the degree to which the activity denoted by the verb has been carried out. On this approach, there are two kinds of "resultative phrases": "resultative phrases" as modifiers of the Stage predicate in the semantic structure of change of state verbs and "resultative phrases" as degree modifiers. The former are universally found since change of state verbs are universally found. This distinction is supported by Romanian resultative constructions. Romanian allows only "resultative phrases" that function as modifiers of the result states lexicalized by change of state verbs, and does not allow the addition of XPs that function as degree modifiers. This descriptive generalization can be accounted for by the assumption that Romanian has "resultative phrases" as modifiers of the Stage predicate, but not "resultative phrases" as degree modifiers, that is, Romanian has no operation of "resultative phrase" addition as English does.

The resultative construction has been assumed to be constrained by Tenny's (1987, 1994) Single Delimiting Constraint (or Goldberg's Unique Path Constraint), which asserts that only one delimiting per verb phrase is allowed: since "resultative phrases" act as delimiters of the events denoted by verbs, two resultative phrases cannot cooccur. However, there are examples in which two resultative phrases, a resultative phrase and a directional phrase, can cooccur, contrary to the predictions of this constraint. In order to account for this fact, I propose that resultative phrases denoting a change of state are added as modifiers to the semantic structure of verbs, while resultative phrases denoting goals, namely directional phrases, are added as a result of the application of semantic conflation. Though these two resultative phrases are really delimiters, one of them delimits a change of state aspect of the event, while the other delimits a directed motion aspect of that event. Thus, these two kinds of delimiters delimit different aspects of one and the same event. To this case, the Single Delimiting Constraint cannot apply.

Mika Takahashi (2003) Optimality in Syntactic Derivations


This dissertation attempts to provide an answer to the questions of "what is an optimal derivation?" in the Minimalist Program (Chomsky 1998, 1999, 2001), focusing on the role of locality conditions. Specifically, I argue that optimality involves Barriers-type locality, but does not involve Relativized Minimality (RM)-type locality.

The main arguments for the claim above are divided into the following three sets: (i) purported RM effects in head movement, raising and wh-islands can be deduced from Barriers-type locality conditions or some independently motivated principles. This type of argument receives support from superraising in English, Niuean and Georgian and superpassive in Japanese (chapter 3). (ii) In phase theory put forth by Chomsky (1998, 1999, 2001), I address a new problem concerning the assignment of P- and EPP- features to a phase head. My solution to this problem will make it possible to deduce the so-called Superiority effects from the latest version of Barriers-type locality conditions. This analysis can give a principled account to some multiple wh questions which are problematic for RM-type locality conditions (chapter 4). (iii) A certain property of ECM constructions with infinitival complements in Japanese, which cannot be predicted by RM-type locality conditions, can be correctly predicted by a Barriers-type locality condition (chapter 5).

Naoto Tomizawa (2003) Some Concepts and Consequences of the the Derivational Computational System


This thesis investigates the nature of the strictly derivational model of computational system, with special reference to the procedures of semantic feature licensing and formal feature checking: the stage at which semantic feature licensing is achieved, the formal mechanism required for such licensing and checking, and the consequences of such procedures. I propose that Lexical Array is an ordered set of lexical items, where semantic relations among the items are specified. Derivation, then, is (partly) a process to license such semantic relations as early as possible under certain structural configurations. The derivational licensing and checking, coupled with a freezing principle which we call the Complementary Fixation, derive such island effects as the subject condition, adjunct condition, and "shifted object" condition (Chapter Two). The formal mechanisms required for the derivational licensing and checking are uniformly Merge (the Generalized Copy Theory). The traditional Move is now external Merge, which explains the obviation phenomena of the BC (C) effects in certain 'wh'-movement configurations and the antecedent-contained deletion constructions (Chapter Three). It follows from our derivational analysis that the notions of minimal domain, accessible subject, BT-compatibility, and c-command are unnecessary in the account of the anaphor-antecedent relations (Chapter Four), and that the distributional properties of 'there' and its associate DP in the 'there'-constructions are derived from the defective D-feature of 'there,' with no bearing on the operational "cost" of Move/Merge or Case (Chapter Five). The derivational approach to the relation of 'wh'-elements and their Q markers, coupled with parametric specifications of Q markers, accounts for the differences in availability of 'wh'-movement among English, Chinese, and Japanese (Chapter Six).

Etsuro Shima (1998) Syntactic Operations in the Minimalist Program


This dissertation, conducted within the Minimalist Program outlined and further elaborated in Chomsky (1993, 1994,1995), seeks a maximally simple design for the computational systems, with special focus on the relation between Merge and Move, triggers of movement operations, and characterization of strong-weak distinction of formal features. Contrary to Chomsky's claim, I propose that Move is selected over Merge. This proposal provides a unified analysis of the following three seemingly distinct syntactic phenomena: strict cyclicity, superraising, and overt object shift. Furthermore, as to movement operations, I argue that NP-movement is triggered by a Case-feature instead of a categorial-feature of Tense, and that wh-movement involves two types of features: one is involved in interpretation at LF and the other relevant to movement. My proposal about the trigger of movements gives a natural account of raising, expletive, partial wh-movement, and multiple-question constructions. Finally, I claim that both a strong and weak formal feature must be checked off before Spell-Out, and that the only difference between these two formal features is whether or not phonological features are attracted: a strong formal feature attracts phonological features, whereas a weak formal feature leaves phonological features in the original position. My characterization of strong and weak formal features eliminates A/A'-distinction about trace-deletion and a stipulation for checking.

Yoshiki Ogawa (1997) A Unified Syntax of Verbal and Nominal Projections


This dissertation provides a unified theory of verbal and nominal projections, in which "elements" in clauses are parallel to those in noun phrases in all respects, and "syntactic operations" apply similarly in both clauses and noun phrases. By "elements," I mean lexical and functional categories, null affixes, Case-features, phi-features, definiteness features, event arguments, thematic arguments and adjunct elemnts. By "syntactic operations," I means Merge, Move, feature checking, argument suppression, event-identification, and so on. In this unified theory of verbal and nominal projections, I argue for the following analyses or proposals, among others: a syntactic verb raising analysis of nominalization and an ECP-free account of the distribution of null complementizers (chapter 2), checking of definiteness features by Spec-Head agreement (chapter 3), the relation between the definiteness of functional categories and the possibility of multiple Specifier licensing (chapter 3), deriving of the Case-adjacency effects from a general condition on null affixes (chapter 4), the stage-level/individual level distinction for non-derived nominals (chapter5), a syntactic verb raising analysis of middle formation (chapter 6), and ellimination of levels of lexical representation (chapter 6). Interaction of these proposals leads us to simplification of the model of grammar, and hence is in accordance with the spirit of the minimalist program of linguistic theory (Chomsky 1993, 1994, 1995).