Semantics Group, 30/11

In this week’s meeting, Masashi Harada will give a talk titled “Contextual effects on case in Japanese copular constructions: A solution by ellipsis.” Abstract below. As usual, the meeting will take place on Friday at 3pm in Room 117. All are welcome to attend!

Abstract: I discuss a new type of case connectivity effects in copular constructions, based on Japanese data. I show that the availability of accusative case on the predicate nominal in Japanese copular sentences depends on the context where the sentence occurs. This contextual effect is surprising because case assignment is generally considered to be a purely morpho-syntactic phenomenon. However, I reconcile the contextual variability in case with morpho-syntactic case licensing theory. Specifically, I propose that the copular sentences in question involve ellipsis taking as its antecedent pro that has its value  determined contextually. The proposed analysis yields a new insight into the mechanism of ellipsis seemingly without a linguistic antecedent, and advance analysis of connectivity effects.

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