The postpositional hierarchy and its mapping to clause structure in Japanese
It can be observed that the relative order of modifier PPs in Japanese is free. Given that the word order in Japanese can be rearranged by scrambling, two questions arise with regard to the word order of modifiers. Is the word order of these modifiers constrained underlyingly? And how are the modifier PPs introduced into a clause structure? A possible answer is a traditional approach under which the order of the PPs is not constrained and that the modifier PPs can be freely adjoined to a syntactic structure (cf. Ernst 2002). An alternative is a theory of functional sequences, in which PPs are generated in unique positions, and a movement operation changes their word order in the surface structure (Alexiadou 1997, Cinque 1999, 2006). In my thesis, I investigate the word order of modifier PPs in Japanese. The goals of the thesis are two–fold. The first is to argue that the underlying order of PPs in Japanese is rigid. On the basis of empirical observation, I argue that modifier PPs are generated in a hierarchical fashion. Once the hierarchy of the modifier PP is determined, I show how the hierarchy supports the theories of a fine-grained functional sequence over the traditional adjunct analysis.
ForlagUniversitetet i Tromsø
University of Tromsø
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