An experimental investigation into the placement of the verb in Japanese and Korean

Chung-hye Han


In a head final language, the placement of the verb in the clause structure is hard to detect, since there is no evidence from the string to distinguish a verb-raising analysis from an INFL-lowering analysis. This is so both for children acquiring the language and for linguists developing an analysis of it. Could the lack of input data lead to a split in the population where some speakers acquire verb-raising and others do not? In this paper, I present evidence supporting such a split using experimental data concerning the scope of argument quantified phrases and negation in Japanese and Korean. The results from this work support that despite the restricted hypothesis space determined by Universal Grammar, insufficient input can lead to distinct grammars in a single speech community.


Japanese; Korean; Verbs; Verb Raising

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