On the Status of the VP Node in Japanese

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Hinds, John V.

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서울대학교 언어교육원
어학연구, Vol.9 No.2, pp. 44-57
This paper will be concerned with determining the existence or non-existence of a VP node in Japanese. Following Schwartz (1972): 220, "the notion VP means, in the transitive case, a constituent whose head is a predicate and whose complement is a nominal in the patient relation to it." This concern may, of course, be explored on two different levels; a level of surface structure and a level of semantic representation.1 Both of these levels will be examined, and it will be shown that a VP node is an unnecessary feature of either level. As far as I can determine, there are five possible-and I must here emphasize the word possible-arguments for establishing a constituent VP2 in any language. In section I, each of these arguments will be discussed, and it will be shown that each argument is either not a valid argument, or if it is a valid argument, that it does not hold for Japanese. In section II, the implications of this fact will be discussed.
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Language Education Institute (언어교육원)Language Research (어학연구)Language Research (어학연구) Volume 09 Number 1/2 (1973)
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