[Japanese | English]
I will present recent joint work with Isaac Gould (MIT) on the syntax/semantics of Japanese head-internal relative clauses (HIRC). We are particularly concerned with the interpretation of HIRC with quantificational heads. For example, consider sentence (1) in context (2). (1) asserts that Junya will eat all the apples in Group A, rather than the subset which Ayaka peeled. Previous analyses of HIRC using E-type anaphora (Hoshi, 1995; Shimoyama, 1999) or event-semantic relations (Grosu, 2010; Grosu and Landman, 2011) are unable to account for such data.
We argue that HIRC denote the maximally informative set which can be the domain of quantification of the head nominal. Central to this analysis will be the adoption of definiteness as Maximal Informativeness (von Fintel, Fox, and Iatridou, manuscript, MIT). I will show how our analysis accounts for a number of properties of HIRC.
literally, "Junya will eat all of [Ayaka peeled almost all of the apples]"
(2) Context: there are two groups of apples. Almost all of the apples in Group A have been peeled by Ayaka. The Group B apples are unpeeled.
Semantics Research Group
Last modified: 2012-06-04 11:28:50 JST