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LINGUIST List 20.2497

Tue Jul 14 2009

Diss: Semantics/Syntax: Sugita: 'Japanese -TE IRU and -TE ARU: The...'

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        1.    Mamori Sugita, Japanese -TE IRU and -TE ARU: The aspectual implications of the stage-level and individual-level distinction

Message 1: Japanese -TE IRU and -TE ARU: The aspectual implications of the stage-level and individual-level distinction
Date: 13-Jul-2009
From: Mamori Sugita <mamori.sugitagmail.com>
Subject: Japanese -TE IRU and -TE ARU: The aspectual implications of the stage-level and individual-level distinction
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Institution: City University of New York
Program: Linguistics Program
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2009

Author: Mamori Sugita

Dissertation Title: Japanese -TE IRU and -TE ARU: The aspectual implications of the stage-level and individual-level distinction

Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
                            Syntax

Subject Language(s): Japanese (jpn)

Dissertation Director:
William McClure
Robert Fiengo
Marcel den Dikken

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation investigates semantic and syntactic properties of the
forms -te iru and -te aru in Japanese, as well as pragmatic effects of
statements with these forms.

With an activity verb in the -te iru form, progressive, experiential, and
habitual readings are available. With an achievement verb in the -te iru
form, perfective, experiential, and habitual readings are available. I
address specifically the difference between perfective and experiential
readings. After reviewing the literature, where it seems that the
distinction is not clear, I give a series of empirical tests and argue that
experiential sentences exhibit properties of individual-level predicates,
while perfective (as well as progressive) sentences exhibit properties of
stage-level predicates.

There are two types of -te aru sentences, intransitivizing and
non-intransitivizing -te aru, both of which have been claimed to yield
perfective readings. However, I argue that all -te aru sentences are
experiential and exhibit properties that parallel individual-level predicates.

Formally, I propose that progressive and perfective -te iru are represented
as sets of events with a requirement that the event be realized. In
contrast, I propose that experiential -te iru and -te aru are represented
as sets of individuals with a requirement that the event be realized. The
relative scope difference of the event and individual variables in the
semantic representation reflects the stage-level and individual-level
distinction. Progressive and perfective -te iru denote properties of
events, while experiential -te iru and -te aru denote properties of
individuals.

The stage-level/individual-level distinction is also reflected in the
proposed syntax. Progressive and perfective -te iru sentences have raising
structures, while experiential -te iru and -te aru sentences have control
structures. The scope of the event and individual arguments in the
semantics of -te iru and -te aru is reflected in the position of their
subjects in syntax.

Lastly, I argue that habitual -te iru sentences parallel experiential -te
iru sentences in that they also exhibit properties of individual-level
predicates.



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