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home > Functional Parametrization Hypothesis in the Minimalist Program

Functional Parametrization Hypothesis in the Minimalist Program
― Case Studies from the Perspective of Comparative Syntax of Japanese and English ―

Ryoichiro Kobayashi
First published:
2022 / 11 / 16
Price (in Japan only):
3,200 yen (Tax Not Included) (112 pages)


In this book, I argue that the presence/absence of agreement features on functional categories in the lexicon yields certain parametric variation, which is part of the Functional Parametrization Hypothesis (FPH: Fukui 1988, 1990, 1995, among others). Throughout the book, I demonstrate that Japanese lacks [uφ] in the lexicon with the support of several case studies and discussions from a comparative perspective. In Chapter 1, I first review how the FPH emerged in the theory of language. Thereafter, I examine the literature on different approaches to the study of human language. I argue that it is reasonable to claim that functional categories, unlike lexical categories, are subject to variation. Furthermore, I maintain that agreement features of functional categories may also be subject to variation. Chapter 2 proposes an analysis of how several seemingly unlabelable constructions in Japanese are labeled in the framework of Chomsky (2013). The proposal is based on the argument that Japanese lacks [uφ] in the lexicon. I show that canonical sentences, multiple subject constructions, and (multiple) scrambling constructions in Japanese can all be derived without labeling failure by solving the problem. In Chapter 3, I propose an exploratory generalization that languages with object-verb φ-agreement cannot have productive lexical VV-compounds. Then, I provide a morphosyntactic analysis of why these compounds are absent in English and other languages with object-verb φ-agreement. Furthermore, I discuss how Case is licensed in Japanese. Chapter 4 consists of extensive discussions on previous studies that argue for the presence of φ-agreement in Japanese. I carefully review five different arguments for φ-agreement in Japanese and offer rebuttals to each of them. Showing that there is little substantive evidence for φ-agreement in Japanese, Chapter 4 further supports the argument that Japanese lacks [uφ]. Overall, I argue that Japanese lacks [uφ] in the lexicon, and that the presence/absence of agreement features in the lexicon yields certain parametric variation that is explored in this book. This book provides a counterargument to the Externalization Hypothesis (Boeckx 2016).



Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Labeling the Unlabelable in Japanese

Chapter 3 φ-agreement and Lexical VV-compounds

Chapter 4 Arguments against φ-agreement in Japanese

Chapter 5 Conclusion

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