The Passive in Japanese

A cartographic minimalist approach

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This book describes and analyzes the passive voice system in Japanese within the framework of generative grammar. By unifying different types of passives conventionally distinguished within the literature, the book advances a simple minimalist account where various passive characteristics emerge from the lexical properties of a single passive morpheme interacting with independently-supported syntactic principles and general properties of Japanese. The book both reevaluates numerous properties previously discussed within the literature and introduces interesting new data collected through experiments. This novel analysis also benefits from considering the important issue of interspeaker variability, in terms of grammaticality judgments and context requirements, and its implications for individual grammar. The book will be of interest not only to students and scholars working on passive constructions, but more generally to scholars working on generative grammar, experimental syntax, language acquisition, and sentence processing.

Subjects: Generative linguistics; Syntax; Japanese linguistics; Theoretical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Tama University

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