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Japanese Syntax in Comparative Perspective$
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Mamoru Saito

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945207.001.0001

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Dative/Genitive Subjects in Japanese: A Comparative Perspective

Dative/Genitive Subjects in Japanese: A Comparative Perspective

(p.228) 9 Dative/Genitive Subjects in Japanese: A Comparative Perspective
Japanese Syntax in Comparative Perspective

Hideki Kishimoto

Oxford University Press

In Indo-Aryan languages, including Hindi, Marathi, and Bengali, experiencer/possessor subjects are often assigned genitive case (alongside dative case), but the option of marking experiencer/possessor subjects with genitive case seems to be entirely lacking in Japanese. This chapter shows that despite appearances to the contrary, Japanese has the genitive-subject constructions constructed from predicates taking experiencer/possessor arguments, which are akin to the genitive-subject constructions of Indo-Aryan types. The chapter argues that in Japanese the experiencer of a nominal predicate generated within the nominal is raised to the subject position either overtly or covertly. When the experiencer is marked with dative case, it undergoes overt movement to Spec,TP. If the experiencer is marked with genitive case, it remains within the host nominal in overt constituent structure but is raised covertly to the subject position, where the dative experiencer appears in overt constituent structure.

Keywords:   genitive subject, dative subject, experiencer, possessor, transitive nominal, copula, predicate inversion, Indo-Aryan

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