Ga/No Conversion

Hideki Maki and Asako Uchibori

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Linguistics

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Ga/No Conversion

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Language Families



This article explores the two major approaches to the Japanese ga/no (nominative/genitive) conversion (GNC) phenomenon: the DP approach by Miyagawa and Ochi, and the non-DP approach by Hiraiwa. It compares the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and then suggests a refined analysis that incorporates ideas from both. The article indicates that D licenses genitive Case, as in the DP approach, and that movement into Spec, DP is not involved in genitive Case licensing, as in the non-DP approach. It also describes the transitivity restriction on the GNC, which prohibits co-occurrence of an accusative DP with the genitive DP, and illustrates how it is handled with Miyagawa's proposal that there are two types of Tense (T) in Japanese. Investigation into the GNC in Japanese provides interesting implications for the general theory of syntax, especially with respect to the nature of operation Agree and the nature of Case systems.

Keywords: ga/no conversion; DP approach; non-DP approach; syntax; genitive Case licensing

Article.  10585 words. 

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

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