Issues on anaphora in Japanese

Issues on anaphora in Japanese
by Hajime Hoji

Publication Date: 2016.6.19
Format: Kindle
ISBN: 9784905328162
Publisher: Ohsumi Shoten, Publishers

This volume contains the seven articles by Hajime Hoji collected in Hoji 2013 Gengo Kagaku-o Mezasite (Aiming at Linguistic Science): Issues on Anaphora in Japanese, edited by Ayumi Ueyama and Yukinori Takubo (Ohsumi Shoten, Japan).

The seven articles are all concerned with local disjointness effects in Japanese, though to varying degrees. These effects have often been regarded as being due to Principle B of the Binding Theory. However, it is claimed in Hoji 1995 (the first paper in this volume), as well as in many of the subsequent papers including those collected in this volume, that what is responsible for such local disjointness effects in Japanese is distinct from Principle B of the Binding Theory. The effects in question are addressed as they show up both in elliptical and non-elliptical contexts. The discussion of local disjointness effects in the elliptical context involves the sloppy-identity readings. Hoji's (1995) claim deserves serious attention and critical scrutiny with regard to its empirical consequences as well as its theoretical and methodological implications.

The main methodological theses of the articles contained in this volume are: (i) our linguistic intuitions, and hence judgments by our informants, are often, if not always, due to grammatical and non-grammatical factors; and (ii) we can expect to make progress in uncovering the properties of the language faculty only if we recognize this and make serious and concerted efforts to tease apart these two distinct types of factors.

The articles address how to identify local disjointness effects and the sloppy-identity reading that are necessarily due to grammatical factors. Some of the articles also discuss the phenomena of bound variable anaphora and the wide scope distributive reading. What unifies all these phenomena is the relevance of LF c-command. The central issue is how we can clearly detect the effects of the LF c-command condition on certain semantic interpretations, such as coreference, bound variable anaphora, scope dependency and the sloppy-identity reading. Out of these empirical considerations grew the conceptual and methodological concerns addressed in the last two articles in this volume, both published in 2003.

This volume also contains Hoji's newly written 26-page Preface "Towards Language Faculty Science: Remarks on the papers collected in Hoji 2013" and an English rendition of one of the two essays written in Japanese by Ayumi Ueyama for Hoji 2013 "Dr. Hajime Hoji's path as a linguist: in place of a biographical note."

The Preface offers Hoji's own critical assessment of the articles included in this volume from the perspective of Hoji 2015 Language Faculty Science (Cambridge University Press), providing an insightful characterization of what he considers as his personal shift from a linguist to a language faculty scientist that took place between 1985 and 2015, which, according to him, is closely related to the fundamental difference between compatibility-seeking research and testability-seeking research.

Much of the current "theoretical discourse" seems to continue to rely on many of the "operational tests" that Hoji has painstakingly argued are not valid and hence unlikely to contribute to the deepening of our understanding of properties of the language faculty. According to the Preface, this can be attributed to its compatibility-seeking research orientation.

The Preface not only gives a historical background of each of the articles in the volume but it also serves as an introduction to Hoji 2015. It can be understood as raising a pointed question aimed at practicing linguists and graduate students regarding their research goal and methodology.

This volume should be valuable reading for anyone who is striving to pursue rigorous testability in research that aims at discovering the properties of the language faculty and also for those who have doubts about how that is possible.

Preface Towards Language Faculty Science: Remarks on the papers collected in Hoji 2013
Chapter 1: Demonstrative Binding and Principle B
Chapter 2: Null Object and Sloppy Identity in Japanese
Chapter 3: Sloppy Identity and Formal Dependency
Chapter 4: Sloppy Identity and Principle B
Chapter 5: Formal Dependency, Organization of Grammar, and Japanese Demonstratives
Chapter 6: Surface and Deep Anaphora, Sloppy Identity, and Experiments in Syntax
Chapter 7: Falsifiability and Repeatability in Generative Grammar: A Case Study of Anaphora and Scope Dependency in Japanese
Afterword Dr. Hajime Hoji's path as a linguist: in place of a biographical note

Hajime Hoji, University of Southern California
Hajime Hoji is Associate Professor of Linguistics and East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Southern California.

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