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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: Scrambling and Japanese Phrase Structure Add Dissertation
Author: Shuichi Yatabe Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: Stanford University, Department of Linguistics
Completed in: 1993
Linguistic Subfield(s): Syntax;
Subject Language(s): Japanese
Director(s): Peter Sells
William Poser
Ivan Sag

Abstract: The aim of this thesis is to determine the syntactic structure of Japanese clauses and noun phrases through examining, among other things, several types of constituent order variation in the language which are often collectively referred to as `scrambling'. The analysis that I suggest has novel features that are of general linguistic interest.

The major points that I make are (i) that lexical heads in Japanese are allowed to combine with their arguments and adjuncts in any order and in any configuration, thus giving rise to completely flat structure, partially flat structure, binary branching structure, structure in which the object NP asymmetrically c-commands the subject NP, etc., (ii) that no filler-gap dependencies exist in Japanese syntax, and (iii) that the internal structure of Japanese clauses is analogous to that of German verb-final clauses, Korean clauses, etc., but not to that of German verb-second clauses or English clauses. The last two of these claims are not original; but some of the arguments I adduce for them are.

After an introduction (Chapter 1), I review previous analyses of Japanese phrase structure and present my alternative hypothesis, which I call the symmetric ivy structure hypothesis, in Chapter 2, and then attempt to justify that hypothesis in Chapters 3 through 7, which deal with the issues of unmarked constituent order, binding, quantifier floating, scope relations, and particle ellipsis, respectively. It is claimed in these chapters that the symmetric ivy structure hypothesis provides simple analyses for the kinds of phenomena that pose difficulty to the widely accepted theory of Japanese phrase structure.

In Chapter 8 it is argued that alleged instances of long-distance scrambling in Japanese should all be reanalyzed as instances of something other than long-distance dependency and hence do not contradict the proposed analysis of Japanese phrase structure, which entails that scrambling in Japanese is strictly clause-internal. And in Chapter 9 it is argued that the symmetric ivy structure hypothesis is applicable to German clause structure as well.