24.946 | Fall 2004 | Undergraduate

Linguistic Theory and the Japanese Language


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session


We will look at some recent topics in minimalism, with an eye to how analyses of Japanese can help to clarify the issues and establish research directions. The first 2/3 of the course will deal with the following topics which I am presently working on - all related to issues of movement:

  • The nature of optional movement (e.g., Chomsky 2001, Fox 2000, Miyagawa, to appear (a), Saito 1989, Sauerland and Elbourne 2002)
  • The nature of the EPP (e.g., Alexiadou and Anagnostopoulou 1998, Baker 2003, Miyagawa, to appear (b))
  • The nature of parametric variation (e.g., Kuroda 1988, Miyagawa, to appear (b), Sigurdsson 2003)
  • The nature of floated quantifiers (e.g., Bobaljik, Miyagawa and Arikawa, Ms. 2004)
  • The nature of QR (e.g., Fox and Nissenbaum 1999, Johnson and Tomioka 1997, Miyagawa, Ms. 2004a)
  • The nature of weak islands (e.g., Miyagawa, Ms. 2004b, Rizzi 1992)
  • The nature of maturation: A-chain in acquisition (e.g., Machida, Miyagawa, and Wexler, to appear, Sano et al)

In addition, we will explore the following topics; these will be in the form of student presentations.

  • The nature of agreement, case, and verbal morphology (e.g., Hiraiwa, Ochi, Uchibori 2000, Watanabe 1996)
  • The nature of nominal ellipsis (e.g., Hoji 1998, Otani and Whitman)
  • The structure of the DP (Watanabe 2004)
  • Prosody and question formation (Ishihara 2003, Y. Kitagawa et al)


The requirements and grading for this course are based on two major assignments: a class presentation and a final course paper.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2004
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Presentation Assignments
Written Assignments