KACL Lecture Series

#48: Professor Kaz Fukushima

Kansai Gaidai University

Title: Morpho-semantic Bracketing Paradox and Lexical Integrity: The Implications of Sized Inalienable Possession in Japanese

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2007, 17:00--18:30
Place: Kobe University, Conference Room, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences
(神戸大学 文化学研究科大会議室 (3F)) Access: click here

One challenge to Lexical Integrity (LI) is bracketing paradox. `sized inalienable possession' (SIP) in Japanese (e.g., ko-kubi `small-neck' in [VP [NP ko-kubi-o] kasigeru] `small-neck-acc tilt') is an instance of bracketing paradox where morphological (above) and semantic (below) bracketing conflict with each other. Specifically, a suffix like ko- above acts as an adverbial modifier for a VP (i.e., [VP slightly ko [VP neck tilt]] `tilt one's neck slightly'). It is proposed that: (a) syntactically, an SIP expression and its `host' verb are collocationally dependent. (b) Semantically, either argument or adjunct SIP expressions are `functors'. They take (or act upon) a predicate meaning as an argument to render an appropriate interpretation. This has the effect of confining the unusual adverbial modification within SIP expressions. Without additional stipulations, the current proposal solves hitherto unnoticed empirical problems faced by previous syntactic accounts. In doing so, it avoids employing mechanisms contradicting LI, namely, LF movement of a bound morpheme or co-indexing a word-internal element. Thus, it enables us to remain faithful to LI (at least) in the domain of SIP.

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