Edited by Kunio Nishiyama, Hideki Kishimoto and Edith Aldridge
[Linguistik Aktuell/Linguistics Today 250] 2018
► pp. 181–205
Chapter 9. Differential argument marking and object movement in Old Japanese
A typological perspective
This paper discusses object movement and its diachronic source in what Yanagida and Whitman (2009) (Y&W) label nominalized clauses in Old Japanese (OJ; 8 century). When the subject is marked by genitive ga, the ancestor of Modern Japanese nominative, the object necessarily moves over the subject, resulting in OSV. Y&W argue that OJ ga is licensed by agentive v and that OSV word order is a property of active alignment. From both theoretical and typological perspectives, this paper argues that case marking and word order variations in OJ are best analyzed as instances of the typologically well attested phenomenon of Differential Argument Marking (DAM). It is shown that object movement is a widely attested subtype of DAM. This paper proposes that the so-called Subject-in-Situ Generalization (SSG) (Alexiadou and Anagnostopoulou 2001) provides a unified analysis of object movement across languages.