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Complex-predicate Formation and Some Consequences in Japanese

Kenji Yokota


The debate has not yet been settled as to whether Japanese morphological causative structures are bi-clausal or mono-clausal. Within the framework of LFG, Ishikawa (1985) and Matsumoto (1996) have claimed that the causatives are bi-clausal in f-structure (involving an XCOMP), and mono-clausal in c-structure.

In this paper I would like to argue that the recent LFG approach to complex predicates in various languages (cf. Alsina 1996, Butt 1995, etc) actually holds good in Japanese causatives and several other related constructions; i.e., these predicates exhibit the property of mono-clausality in f-structure, and bi-clausality in c-structure, contrary to Ishikawa's and Matsumoto's assumption. It is also argued that the determination of semantic scope should be treated in terms of c-structure as well as f-structure. We lastly argue for a claim that the causative verb -(s)ase is certainly a verb, not an affix.

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