Unifying Labeling under Minimal Search in "Single-" and "Multiple-Specifier" Configurations
Samuel Epstein, Hisatsugu Kitahara, T. Daniel Seely
February 2020

Japanese exhibits multiple nominative subjects (Kuno 1973), schematically represented as {{N1, alpha}, {{N2, beta}, {{N3, gamma}, {vP, T}}}, where each NP is assigned nominative case (NOM) by finite T. Chomsky (2013, 2015) assumes minimal search finds the first head(s) for labeling. But what counts as the first head(s) in {{N1, alpha}, {{N2, beta}, {{N3, gamma}, {vP, T}}}, should N1? That incorrectly labels this object as nominal, and fails to capture the fact that NOM appears on the three NPs. Descriptive adequacy requires that, in this object, minimal search finds the three heads N1, N2, N3, and the finite T, (and only them) so that the valuation of NOM by finite T on each NP will take place, while labeling this object with the Case-valuing finite T. We propose an analysis yielding these results and unifying labeling under minimal search in single- and multiple-specifier configurations.
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Reference: lingbuzz/005095
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keywords: labeling as minimal search, single- vs. multiple-specifiers, multiple nominative subjects, syntax
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