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Interpretation and Processing of the System of Japanese Reflexives

Li, Noriyasu (2017) Interpretation and Processing of the System of Japanese Reflexives. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Japanese reflexives have long been a focus in Japanese linguistics. Early work by Kuroda (1965), Kuno (1977), and recent work by Oshima (2002) and Nishigauchi (2014) drew attention to the number of syntactic, semantic, and discourse-related properties that are attributed to zibun and other Japanese reflexives (see Kuroda for c-command relations, Kuno for empathetic logophor, Oshima for de se interpretations, and Nishigauchi for point of view). Embedded in all the research is Chomsky’s (1981, 1986) seminal work on Government and Binding, in which Binding Principle A states that anaphors must have a co-indexed and c-commanding antecedent noun phrase within their governing category. Later, the principles of movement at LF (Cole, Hermon, & Sung, 1990; Cole & Sung, 1994) successfully captured the ability for monomorphemic reflexives to bind with an antecedent ‘outside’ of their governing clause, if that clause was based on the original analysis of English. However, questions still remain as to who the correct potential antecedent of the reflexive is, especially when there are multiple grammatically possible antecedents in Japanese. Related to this issue is the question of how second language (L2) learners acquire the abstract properties of Japanese reflexives.
This dissertation investigates how native speakers (L1) of Japanese link reflexives to their antecedents through experimental research on specific sets of anaphoric pronouns – zibun, zibun-zisin, kare-zisin, and kanozyo-zisin. The dissertation also examines how L2 learners acquire these properties in Japanese. Although it is well known that co-reference with these reflexives can be ambiguous (Aikawa, 2002), I analyze how L1 Japanese speakers successfully construct anaphoric relations among determiner phrases and resolve ambiguity through an analysis of case and the argument structure of the verb. The interaction between case and the predicate in reflexive-antecedent binding, to my knowledge, has not been thoroughly addressed in the literature to date, and this point is the innovative focus of my dissertation. Further, I expand the scope of reflexives to all reflexive forms in Japanese, and cross-linguistically analyze acquisition between typologically related (e.g., Korean) and unrelated (e.g., Chinese) languages.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Li, Noriyasunhl3@pitt.edunhl30000-0002-6507-978X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJuffs, Alanjuffs@pitt.edujuffs
Committee MemberNara, Hiroshihnara@pitt.eduhnara
Committee MemberKanwit, Matthewmkanwit@pitt.edumkanwit
Committee MemberPark, Karenkep81@pitt.edukep81
Date: 26 June 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 1 March 2017
Approval Date: 26 June 2017
Submission Date: 5 April 2017
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 376
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reflexive binding, Japanese, Syntax, Sentence Processing, L2 Acquisition
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2017 00:13
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2022 05:15


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