A mismatch between position and interpretation: focus association with Japanese

Sachie Kotani


This paper discusses focus ambiguities caused with Japanese focus particles, such as -sae ‘even’ and -mo ‘also’, and argues that the mismatch between the position of the focus particles and the interpretation is due to the morphological properties of the focus particles, assuming Morphological Merger (cf. Marantz (1988) and Embick and Noyer (2001)). The proposed analysis also gives an account of focus ambiguities in some other languages. This paper implies that the morpho-phonological domain has its own movement, which only affects the surface form of derivations, but not the LF interpretation.


Japanese; Focus; Ambiguity; Verb Phrase; PF; LF; Spell-Out

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