Hisako Takahashi: dissertation defense (May 15)

Hisako Takahashi defended her dissertation with the title "On the Syntax of Spatiotemporal PPs" on Monday, May 15. Congratulations!
This thesis attempts to provide new evidence for the layered PP structure through an investigation of the interaction of a layered PP structure and two syntactic phenomena in Japanese: nominal ellipsis within PPs and Nominative/Genitive Conversion in adverbial clauses headed by Ps. The proposed analyses of the two syntactic phenomena also have theoretical implications for cross-linguistic variations in nominal morphology, the role of phases in ellipsis, and the locality of Case-assignment.
In chapter 2, I propose that while both English and Japanese have a common threelayered PP structure consisting of Path, Place and Ax(ial)Part as proposed in the literature (Ayano 2001, Svenonius 2006, Cinque 2010, amo.), the two languages differ in the position of K(ase)P, which is reflected in case morphology of the two languages. More specifically, I propose that while KP is dominated by the layered PP structure in English due to its fusional case morphology, the former dominates the latter in Japanese due to its non-fusional case morphology.
In chapter 3, I investigate NP-ellipsis within PPs in English, Japanese, and Chinese to provide evidence for the proposed layered PP structure. I first point out that although NP-ellipsis is equally allowed in nominals in the three languages, the parallel pattern breaks down when nominals are selected by Ps. I propose a principled account of the cross-linguistic differences on the basis of the proposed layered PP structure and a phase-based analysis of ellipsis.
In chapter 4, focusing on Nominative/Genitive Conversion within adverbial clauses headed by Ps in Japanese, I argue that the layered PP structure proposed in chapter 2 again provides a principled account of the distribution of genitive subjects in adverbial clauses, which has been long debated in the literature. I demonstrate that the proposed analysis can capture not only the distribution of genitive subjects in adverbial clauses but also the distribution of genitive subjects in other types of clauses, such as relative clauses and sentential modifiers of nouns.