Revisiting Subject-Object Asymmetry: Subextraction in Japanese

Citation:

Fukuda S, Nakao C, Omaki A, Polinsky M. Revisiting Subject-Object Asymmetry: Subextraction in Japanese. Formal Approaches to Altaic Linguistics (WAFL). In Press;10.
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Abstract:

This paper investigates cross-linguistic variation in extractability out of subjects. Our new acceptability judgment experiment, which controlled for a ‘long-before-short’ preference in Japanese, shows that Japanese subjects are as transparent to extraction as objects. Based on this finding, we classify languages into three subtypes with respect to subject opacity: (a) languages in which subjects are never transparent (English), (b) languages in which only in situ subjects are transparent (Russian, German), and (c) languages in which subjects are always transparent (Japanese). To account for these data, we offer a preliminary formal analysis that links this typology to the existence of subject Agreement and the EPP: (a) languages where subjects undergo Agreement and EPP movement, (b) languages where subjects only undergo Agreement, and (c) languages where subjects do not undergo either operation.

Last updated on 07/06/2015