The Base-generation Approach to the Spray/Load Alternation in Japanese
AffiliationKyushu Sangyo University
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AbstractThis article presents a syntactic account of the spray/load alternation in Japanese (e.g., nuru ‘smear’, tsumeru ‘pack’, etc.,). Fukui, Miyagawa and Tenny (1985) claim that the alternation verbs show the double object structure under a single VP node; namely both the Material (i.e., something that is painted) and the Location (i.e., somewhere that is painted) participants are co-sisters of the verb. When the Material participant is affected, it will be realized as the direct object of the verb. On the other hand, when the Location is (completely) affected, it will be realized as the direct object of the verb. I build an account on their intuition that the Material and the Location elements are thematically connected with the lexical verb within the binary branching hypothesis (Kayne 1994, among others); thus, they are arguments of VP. But this structure is valid only for the ni-variant where the Material is the single sister of VP. In the structure of the de-variant, the Location is a single sister of VP but the Material element is a PP, merging above VP. Under this view, the two syntactic alternants are available because they are derived from different numeration arrays. The present analysis minimizes the burden on the syntax by eliminating the affectedness condition for determining argument distribution of spray/load verbs in Japanese.