Vol. 28:1 (2004) ► pp.105–136
Transitivity of ergative case-marking predicates in Japanese
In this article, I argue that ergative case-marking predicates in Japanese, which take two non-canonically case-marked arguments, are best described as transitive predicates having subjects and direct objects, rather than as intransitive predicates without any direct objects — contrary to Shibatani’s recent proposal (Shibatani 1999, 2001a, b, Shibatani and Pardeshi 2001). More specifically, ergative case-marking predicates are argued to be transitive, as originally conceived by Kuno (1973) and others, on the basis that outer dative/nominative phrases display subject properties, while inner nominative phrases exhibit positive object properties. Furthermore, it is argued that ergative case-marking constructions do not constitute a sub-type of double subject construction by showing that they are licensed in a different way.
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