On The Causative Construction

Heidi Harley

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Linguistics

Published in print November 2008 | ISBN: 9780195307344
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 On The Causative Construction

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Language Families


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This article demonstrates that the analysis of the affixal Japanese causative morpheme -(s)ase requires an explicit treatment of the morphology–syntax interface, because it exhibits syntactic characteristics typical of both monoclausal and biclausal constructions, despite forming a single phonological word in combination with the verb stem to which it attaches. It concentrates on the importance for linguistic theory of a single problem posed by the construction: In what component of the grammar are the various causatives constructed? The article then explores the implications for linguistic theory. It also describes how independently motivated theoretical proposals in distinct domains of research turn out to naturally provide a unified account of lexical and syntactic Japanese causatives. The analysis in general can be taken as additional evidence for the phasal status of vP, and for successive-cyclic QR through vP, among other things.

Keywords: causative construction; Japanese causative morpheme; linguistic theory; morphology; syntax; phonological word; verb

Article.  12316 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Grammar, Syntax and Morphology ; Language Families

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