Ditransitive Constructions

Yuji Takano

in The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Linguistics

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Ditransitive Constructions

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  • Linguistics
  • Grammar, Syntax and Morphology
  • Language Families


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This article addresses the structure and derivation of ditransitive constructions (DCs) in Japanese. It investigates the syntactic properties of Japanese DCs and how competing theories account for them. The article reports how the study of Japanese DCs contributes to the development of linguistic theory. The scrambling approach and base-generation approach are the two major approaches to Japanese DCs. The first approach can explain that backward binding is possible only in the theme-goal order, whereas the latter approach can explain the lack of Chain Condition effects in the theme-goal order. The study of Japanese DCs sheds new light on the nature of the Chain Condition. The properties of Japanese DCs showed through the previous studies have an implication for mechanisms of licensing Case as well. The study of Japanese DCs has generally contributed to revealing many interesting, and sometimes surprising, properties that result to a better understanding of language and linguistic theory.

Keywords: Japanese ditransitive constructions; linguistic theory; scrambling approach; base-generation approach; Chain Condition; language

Article.  13879 words. 

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

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