Invisible movement in sika-nai and the linear crossing constraint

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Sika-nai is a Japanese word for only. This paper proposes that sika-nai should be analyzed along the line of Watanabe (1991, 1992), who claims that Japanese has invisible syntactic wh-movement. We propose that sika has an invisible operator. Nai heads its own projection, NegP. The invisible operator moves to NegP-Spec in syntax. As evidence for this analysis, it will be demonstrated that sika-nai shows effects of the Subjacency Condition, the Proper Binding Condition, and the Linear Crossing Constraint. These principles interact with scrambling and wh-movement in such a way as to further confirm our analysis. We advance an argument against Chomsky's (1992) proposal that there is no S-Structure condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-188
Number of pages46
JournalJournal of East Asian Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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