Syntactic Metamorphosis: Clefts, Sluicing, and In-Situ Focus in Japanese

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In this article, we propose that three types of focus constructions in Japanese-clefts, in-situ focus, and sluicing/stripping-share the same underlying structure and are derived by syntactic "metamorphosis" from one structure to another. After revealing similarities between cleft constructions and in-situ focus constructions, we specifically propose that the latter underlies the former, which is derived by a focus movement followed by a heavy remnant movement. It is shown that various properties of cleft constructions follow from the syntax of in-situ focus constructions and movement operations. Then, it is further argued that cleft constructions underlie sluicing/stripping under certain conditions. The article also touches on the so-called clausemate condition found in multiple cleft sentences. A new set of data will be presented that poses a problem for syntactic explanations of this effect.


External organisations
  • Meiji Gakuin University
  • Goethe University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Specific Languages
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-180
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jun 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes