On the Word Order of Copular Sentences

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Abstract

When the copula involves two NPs, the order of the two NPs is not immediately obvious, since either one seems able to precede the other. This short essay deals with the problem of determining the base order of the two NPs of copular sentences, taking up examples from English and Japanese. I will essentially follow Heggie's (1988a, 1988b) analysis, where one order is derived from the other by fronting the predicative NP to the CP-Spec position. The evidence for this inversion analysis is much more clearly seen in Japanese, where fronting is marked with the topic marker wa. However, Japanese exhibits its own complication which makes it difficult to determine the base order on purely syntactic grounds. It will be shown that some kind of D-structure condition must be incorporated in grammar, which refers to the referential property of NPs involved in copular sentences.

When the copula involves two NPs, the order of the two NPs is not immediately obvious, since either one seems able to precede the other. This short essay deals with the problem of determining the base order of the two NPs of copular sentences, taking up examples from English and Japanese. I will essentially follow Heggie's (1988a, 1988b) analysis, where one order is derived from the other by fronting the predicative NP to the CP-Spec position. The evidence for this inversion analysis is much more clearly seen in Japanese, where fronting is marked with the topic marker wa. However, Japanese exhibits its own complication which makes it difficult to determine the base order on purely syntactic grounds. It will be shown that some kind of D-structure condition must be incorporated in grammar, which refers to the referential property of NPs involved in copular sentences.

Journal

Codes

  • NII Article ID (NAID)
    110000487222
  • NII NACSIS-CAT ID (NCID)
    AN10576042
  • Text Lang
    ENG
  • Article Type
    Departmental Bulletin Paper
  • Journal Type
    大学紀要
  • ISSN
    13476203
  • NDL Article ID
    6400246
  • NDL Source Classification
    ZK21(言語・文学)
  • NDL Call No.
    Z71-D921
  • Data Source
    NDL  NII-ELS  IR 
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