Labeling and Scrambling in Japanese
Nobu Goto
January 2013

This paper adopts and elaborates Chomsky’s (2012) Merge-based system with labeling algorithm (LA) and proposes a novel explanation of the ban on long-distance scrambling to a sentence-medial position in Japanese in terms of LA, with the consequence that the Merge-over-Move Principle (MOM) (Chomsky 1995, 2000) is entirely eliminated in favor of unconstrained Merge. Specifically, I put forward the hypothesis that a label is necessary for {XP, YP} structures at intermediate positions, but unnecessary for ones at the edge of root CP, reflecting the intuitive idea that it is necessary not only for interpretation at the interfaces (Chomsky 2012) but also for further computations in narrow syntax (Chomsky 2007, 2008, Hornstein 2009). It is argued that the hypothesis straightforwardly captures the traditional intuition of Phrase Structure Rules (PSRs) that root CP is non-endocentric (Chomsky 1957). As apparent counterexamples to the hypothesis, some legitimate intermediate {XP, YP} structures observed in multiple scrambling, clause-internal scrambling, and embedded clauses are considered in detail. Based on the nature of the independently motivated notions such as single syntactic constituent movement (Koizumi 2000), Pair-Merge (Chomsky 2004, 2008, 2012), and Transfer (Narita to appear), it is shown that the relevant {XP, YP} structures can avoid the potential labeling problem.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004744
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Tohoku: Essays and Studies in English Language and Literature 46. 39–73.
keywords: labeling algorithm, xp-yp structures created by scrambling, merge-over-move, unnecessity of labeling at root cp, labeling by transfer, syntax
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