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By Mika Kizu (auth.)

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Extra info for Cleft Constructions in Japanese Syntax

Sample text

This fact shows that unlike the accusative phrase, the nominative phrase must have an overt case marker since it is not assigned abstract case. With this basic account in mind, let us look at the following cleft sentence: (78) a eigo(- ga)i-da [Taroo-ga ei hanaseru-no]-wa Taro–NOM can-speak-NM- TOP English (-NOM)-COP ‘It is English that Taro can speak’ b [Taroo-ga [ ei sono hito-ni atta to] omotteiru-no]-wa Taro–NOM that person- DAT met COMP think- NM-TOP Hanako(-ga)i-da Hanako(-NOM)-COP ‘It is Hanako that Taro thinks met that person’ In the sentences above, what is clefted is the nominative-marked phrases.

As evidence for his claim, he points out that the sentence in (44)b is acceptable in contrast to (41)a: (44) a Oranda-no sakana-wa nisin-ga yoi Holland-GEN fish-TOP herring-NOM be-good ‘As for fish in Holland, herring is the best’ b Oranda-no sakana-ga nisin-ga yoi Holland-GEN fish-NOM herring-NOM be-good ‘Among fish in Holland, herring is the best’ In fact, the corresponding cleft sentence to (44) turns out to be more acceptable than (44)a: (45) [Nisin-ga yoi no]-wa oranda-no sakana-da herring-NOM be-good-NM-TOP Holland-GEN fish-COP ‘It is fish in Holland among which herring is the best’ Topicalization and Cleft Constructions 33 Therefore, these facts seem to suggest that all sentence-initial topic phrases are derived by movement, and the unacceptability of (41) comes from a semantic anomaly.

The sentence in (66)a contains a doko NP Wh-phrase, which is considered an inherently D-linked Wh-element. This sentence, as well as (66)b with phonological stress on the Wh-phrase, is grammatical because the topic phrase is D-linked. The topic Wh-phrase in (66)c, however, is not felicitous; it is difficult to interpret it as a D-linked Wh-phrase without any phonological stress. Therefore, the facts here suggest that adjunct Wh-phrases can be topicalized but non-D-linked Wh-phrases cannot. Notice, on the other hand, that a focus position in cleft constructions does not require a D-linked element in it, so that a wider range of Wh-constituents can appear there.

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