Journal of UOEH
Online ISSN : 2187-2864
Print ISSN : 0387-821X
ISSN-L : 0387-821X
A Minimalist Analysis of English Topicalization: A Phase-Based Cartographic Complementizer Phrase (CP) Perspective
Hiroyoshi TANAKA
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2016 Volume 38 Issue 4 Pages 279-289

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Abstract

Under the basic tenet that syntactic derivation offers an optimal solution to both phonological realization and semantic interpretation of linguistic expression, the recent minimalist framework of syntactic theory claims that the basic unit for the derivation is equivalent to a syntactic propositional element, which is called a phase. In this analysis, syntactic derivation is assumed to proceed at phasal projections that include Complementizer Phrases (CP). However, there have been pointed out some empirical problems with respect to the failure of multiple occurrences of discourse-related elements in the CP domain. This problem can be easily overcome if the alternative approach in the recent minimalist perspective, which is called Cartographic CP analysis, is adopted, but this may raise a theoretical issue about the tension between phasality and four kinds of functional projections assumed in this analysis (Force Phrase (ForceP), Finite Phrase (FinP), Topic Phrase (TopP) and Focus Phrase (FocP)). This paper argues that a hybrid analysis with these two influential approaches can be proposed by claiming a reasonable assumption that syntactically requisite projections (i.e., ForceP and FinP) are phases and independently constitute a phasehood with relevant heads in the derivation. This then enables us to capture various syntactic properties of the Topicalization construction in English. Our proposed analysis, coupled with some additional assumptions and observations in recent minimalist studies, can be extended to incorporate peculiar properties in temporal/conditional adverbials and imperatives.

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© 2016 The University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan
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