Chains and case positions: A study from scrambling in Japanese

Date of Completion

January 1993


Language, Linguistics




This thesis discusses the characteristics of scrambling in Japanese within the Principles and Parameters theory (Chomsky 1981-1992, and others). In the late 1980's, the important hypothesis has been raised that scrambling can be in principle A or A$\sp\prime$-movement (e.g. Mahajan 1989). The present work investigates when and why scrambling can be A-movement. A wide range of examples with scrambling is considered, including the comparison of clause-internal scrambling vs. long distance scrambling, scrambling to the sentence initial position vs. scrambling to the intermediate position, as well as long distance scrambling out of a finite clause vs. long distance scrambling out of a Control clause.^ Chapter 1 gives an overview of the thesis. The discussion in Chapter 2 leads the conclusion that only clause-internal scrambling to the intermediate position and scrambling out of a Control clause to the intermediate position can be A-movement. It is, therefore, argued that there is an A-position in the intermediate position, between the subject and the indirect object. Chapter 3 considers the status of the intermediate A-position. It is shown that clause-internal scrambling to this position is necessarily A-movement, while scrambling out of a Control clause to this position can be A or A$\sp\prime$-movement. This contrast is accounted for in terms of the Case Checking Theory and the Economy of derivation in Chomsky (1989, 1992) and Chomsky and Lasnik (1991). It is argued that A-scrambling is to the Spec of AGRoP. Chapter 4 provides further support for the hypothesis raised in Chapter 3, considering long distance A-scrambling. The data are presented which suggest that the scrambled object can have its Case checked in the matrix clause. Another important goal of this chapter is to examine the structure of a Control construction in Japanese, which has not been adequately discussed in the literature. Provided that a Control clause allows long distance A-scrambling, whereas a finite clause does not, the structural differences are considered in conjunction with the locality requirement on A-movement in Chomsky and Lasnik (1991). ^