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Auteur: Koichiro NAKAMURA

Ga-marked phrases act as exhaustive identificational focus

Abstract/Résumé: The aim of this paper is to claim that ga-marked phrases denote exhaustive identificational focus. We propose that both the ga-marked subject and the ga-marked scrambled object act as focus and move into Focus Phrase (FocP). Let us begin by the following example. (1) a. Gakusei-tachi-no dare-ga kono ronbun-o kai-ta no? student-PL-Gen who-Nom this paper-Acc write-Past-Q ‘Who among the students wrote this article?’ b. Taro-ga kono ronbun-o kai-ta T-Nom this article-Acc write-Past ‘It is Taro who wrote this paper.’ In (1b), the ga-marked subject denotes exhaustive identification in the sense of É Kiss (1998). This is what Kuno calls exhaustive listing. Next, let us examine the case with ga-marked object scrambling. (2) a. Boku-wa biiru-ga nomi-tai I-Top beer-Nom drink-want to ‘I want to drink beer.’ b. Biiru-ga buku-wa nomi-tai beer-Nom I-Top drink-want to ‘It is beer, and nothing else, that I want to drink.’ c. Demo boku-wa wain-mo nomi-tai but I-Top wine-also drink-want to ‘But I also want to drink wine.’ We can continue (2c) to (2a), which means that in situ ga-marked object does not signify exhaustive identification. In contrast, we cannot continue (2c) to (2b) since scrambled ga-marked object denotes exhaustive identification. In the following examples, we can detect that both the ga-marked object and the subject signify exhaustive identificational focus. (3) a. ??Sakka-de-wa Murakami Haruki-ga Hanako-ga yomi-tai writer-among-Top Haruki Murakami-Nom H-Nom read-want to ‘Among the writers, it is Haruki Murakami(’s novels) that Hanako want to read.’ b. Sakka-de-wa Murakami Haruki-ga Hanako-wa yomi-tai writer-among-Top Haruki Murakami-Nom H-Top read-want to ‘Among the writers, it is Harumi Murakami that Hanako wants to read.’ In (3a), where ga-marked object and subject co-occur, the sentence is marginal. This is because both ga-marked object and subject denote focus and are assumed to be in the same slot. In contrast, (3b) is OK because ga-marked object acts as focus and wa-marked phrase acts as contrastive topic. This fact clearly shows that both the ga-marked scrambled object and the subject are interpreted as exhaustive identificational focus. Here, let us present the following Japanese phrase structure. (4) [CP [TopP [FocP [TopP [TP [vP [VP V]v]T]Top]Foc]Top]C] By using this, let us schematize the structure of (1b) and (3b) as (5a&b). (5) a. [FocP Taro-ga [TopP [TP tsubj [vP tsubj [VP kono ronbun-o kai tobj ]]ta]]] b. [TopP sakka-de-wa [FocP Murakami Haruki-ga [TopP Hanako-wa [TP tsubj [vP tsubj [VP yomi ]tai]]]]]