Revisiting a null pronominal account for parasitic gaps in Japanese

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This paper investigates empty categories in Japanese that show behavior that is apparently similar to parasitic gaps in that they allow bound readings only with movement of the wh-phrase. This obligatory movement, however, is mysterious considering the island-insensitivity of Japanese. The primary aim of this paper is to get a better understanding of the nature of this empty category in Japanese by referring to more general discussions on parasitic gaps in other languages and also exploiting the experimental data. Given the contrasting behavior of parasitic gaps in Japanese and the results of two experiments, I propose that parasitic gaps in Japanese be analyzed as pro. On top of that, I will derive obligatory movement from the semantics of questions which allows us to interpret wh-phrases in situ and also show how differences between English and Japanese emerge from different nature of parasitic gaps in each language.

Original languageEnglish
Article number117
Pages (from-to)1DUUMY
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Japanese
  • Null pronouns
  • Obligatory movement
  • Parasitic gaps
  • Wh-in-situ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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