Japanese V-V compounds have two structures of head-head and complement-head, and both types show atransitivity, where the internal argument(s) of a transitive or ditransitive verb are not realized. There are two independent reasons for atransitivity. One is the clause structure where the internal argument is not licensed by a verb but by a functional head, in accordance with the recent constructionist hypothesis. The other is auxiliation, a process in which a lexical verb is reanalyzed as an auxiliary. This insight roots in traditional grammar of Japanese, and we translate the insight in current theoretical terms. Depending on the subtype of compound, head-head compounds do or do not show the harmony of transitivity between the two items of the compound, and we offer an analysis of it in terms of the auxiliation of the second verb of the compound.
This paper investigates how null subjects, generally termed pro in the literature, were licensed and lost historically in English, with special emphasis on the role of verbal inflectional morphology. It is revealed through a corpus search that pro was licensed as a null topic in Old English and Early Middle English but subsequently lost in Late Middle English. This coincides with the period in which English underwent a drastic typological change, going from a topic-prominent language to a subject-prominent language. In order to relate these simultaneous changes, I maintain that the loss of pro and the typological change to the language both resulted from the shift of φ-features from Top(ic) to Fin(ite) within the hierarchy of fine-grained functional heads in the CP domain à la Rizzi (1997), and that this is ultimately attributable to the decline of verbal inflectional morphology for number agreement. Thus, as far as the analysis advanced in this paper is successful, the changes under discussion present an intriguing case of syntax–morphology interface in the domain of language change, where micro-level morphological attrition finally results in a large-scale typological shift of a language.
As for the morphosyntactic size of a compound, it has occasionally been suggested that some of the N-N compounds can be larger than derived words but are smaller than phrases (Allen (1978), Giegerich (2005)) or that some of the V-V compound are words, while others are phrases (Kageyama (1993, 2001), Nishiyama (1998)). However, exactly how large each compound is remains controversial, partly because their nature is synchronically variable in terms of phonology, morphology, syntax, and/or semantics. In relation to this problem, there has been a long-standing issue of which of morphology and syntax should deal with the internal structure of these two types of compound and others. Here arises a set of reciprocative discussions between the lexicalists and anti-lexicalists over the data that belong to morphosyntax, and yet no settlement has been reached so far, because both types of approach have as much defects as merits. With these problems recalcitrant to a synchronic analysis in mind, I will shed a diachronic perspective on them. More specifically, this article launches a simple hypothesis that the morphosyntactic size of a compound tends to be diachronically enlarged from the domain of morphology to that of syntax, as is known by the names such as demorphologization and/or constructionalization. I will collect relevant data from the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) and the literature on the traditional Japanese linguistics. Then, I will provide a morphosyntactic analysis of the diachronic generalization, in terms of two outstanding syntactic theories: Distributed Morphology (Halle and Marantz (1993), Marantz (1997)) and Cartography (Cinque (2003, 2006)). Three kinds of data presented in support of the above hypothesis are: (i) the demorphologization of many combining forms including -phobia, -holic, psycho-, techno-, their reanalysis as independent words, and their development as N-N compounds, (ii) the emergence of the resultative construction from the corresponding V-A form in English, and (iii) the development of the syntactic V-V compounds from the lexical V-V compounds such as kami-kiru `bite-cut' and yomi-kiru `read-cut' in the history of Japanese (Aoki (2010)). I will argue that these three types of diachronic changes are the instances of what I call ``syntactic constructionalization'' at the so-called ``word'' level, the VP/vP-level, and the AspectP-level, respectively.
This study investigates the historical development of the particle away in English. Assuming the three-layered VP structure proposed by Ramchand (2008), and the Inner Aspect proposed by Travis (1994, 2010), Fujita and Matsumoto (2005), and Ogawa and Niinuma (2013), I argue that there are three positions available for the particle away: the directional away is located in Res, which is the lowest in the VP structure, the completive aspectual away is in Asp(completive), which is above Proc, and the continuative or iterative aspectual away is in Asp(continuative or iterative), which is above Asp(completive). The data from Corpus of Historical American English show that the continuative or iterative aspectual away has been concatenated with the activity verbs earlier than accomplishment verbs, which is compatible with the syntactic analysis of grammaticalization proposed by Roberts and Roussou (2003).
In English, there are a couple of words whose categorial status is murky, the most notable of which is near. It is sometimes referred to as a preposition (Svenonius (2010)), as a transitive adjective (Maling (1983)), or as an intransitive adjective whose PP complement happens to be filled by an empty P (Kayne (2005)). The first aim of this article is to show that the three analyses are all correct synchronically in that they represent a different stage of grammaticalization on the cline from transitive adjective to intransitive adjective to preposition, on the basis of the newly discovered fact (i) that the semantic gradability of near began a sharp declination from the late 19th century, (ii) that its morphological compatibility with the preposition to also began a sharp declination from the same period, and (iii) that its collocation with the adverb right became possible around the same period, among others. The second aim of this article is to provide a syntactic analysis of the grammaticalization of near, with recourse to the insights put forth by Waters (2009) as to the grammaticalization of inside from N to Axial Part to P.
This study presents a generative-linguistic analysis of the prefix a- in English morphology. Using Baker's (2003) theory of syntactic categories and Svenonius' (2006, 2010) multi-layered analysis of spatial PPs, I argue that locative on-phrases underwent the process of grammaticalization to yield a-words in which the prefix a- realizes the category Pred. Denominal and de-adjectival a-words so formed triggered the emergence of a productive derivational pattern that produces stative predicates of the complex category Pred+A from inputs of any lexical category (N, A, and V). This analysis accounts for the non-canonical syntactic distribution of a-words as well as their morphological left-headedness.