Definiteness and Number in Japanese to German Machine Translation
Why swimming is just as difficult as dying for Japanese learners of English
- While both Japanese and English have a grammatic al form denoting the progressive, the two forms (te-iru & be+ing) interact differently with the inherent semantics of the verb to which they attach (Kindaichi, 1950; McClure, 1995; Shirai, 2000). Japanese change of state verbs are incompatible with a progressive interpretation, allowing only a resultative interpretation of V+ te-iru, while a progressive interpretation is preferred for activity predicates. English be+ing denotes a progressive interpretation regardless of the lexical semantics of the verb. The question that arises is how we can account for the fact that change of state verbs like dying can denote a progressive interpretation in English, but not in Japanese. While researchers such as Kageyama (1996) and Ogihara (1998, 1999) propose that the difference lies in the lexical semantics of the verbs themselves, others such as McClure (1995) have argued that the difference lies in the semantics of the grammatical forms, be+ing and te-iru. We present results from an experimental study of Japanese learners’ interpretation of the English progressive which provide support for McClure’s proposal. Results indicate that independent of verb type, learners had significantly more difficulty with the past progressive. We argue that knowledge of L2 semantics-syntax correspondences proceeds not on the basis of L1 lexical semantic knowledge, but on the basis of grammatical forms.
Topicalization, CLLD and the Left Periphery
Liliane M. V. Haegeman
- Starting from a consideration of the internal make-up of adverbial clauses this paper shows that the widespread assumption that fronted arguments in English and CLLD constituents in Romance occupy the same position leads to a number of problems. I will conclude that the position occupied by English topicalized arguments differs from that of the CLLD topics in Romance. In particular, English topics occupy a higher position in the left periphery. The final part of the paper compares three proposals for the lower topic position in Romance.
Phonetics or Phonology : Asymmetries in Loanword Adaptations ; French and German Mid Front Rounded Vowels in Japanese
- It is one of the most highly debated issues in loanword phonology whether loanword adaptations are phonologically or phonetically driven. This paper addresses this issue and aims at demonstrating that only the acceptance of both a phonological as well as a phonetic approximation stance can adequately account for the data found in Japanese. This point will be exemplified with the adaptation of German and French mid front rounded vowels in Japanese. It will be argued that the adaptation of German /oe/ and /ø/ as Japanese /e/ is phonologically grounded, whereas the adaptation of French /oe/ and /ø/ as Japanese /u/ is phonetically grounded. This asymmetry in the adaptation process of German and French mid front rounded vowels and further examples of loans in Japanese lead to the only conclusion that both strategies of loanword adaptation occur in languages. It will be shown that not only perception, but also the influence of orthography, of conventions and the knowledge of the source language play a role in the adaptation process.
On the control/raising ambiguity with aspectual verbs : a structural account
- In what follows, I first briefly review Perlmutter (1968, 1970), in which it is argued that aspectual verbs are ambiguous between control and raising. I suggest that while the argument for the raising analysis is solid, the arguments supporting the control analysis of aspectual verbs are less so. As an alternative hypothesis to consider, I introduce the structural ambiguity hypothesis. In Section 3, I review three recent analyses of control and raising. Although there are important differences among them, they all share the basic assumption that the control/raising distinction is due to differences in selectional restrictions that the lexical items impose. Under such an assumption, the lexical ambiguity hypothesis is the only available option. In Section 4, I present evidence for the structural ambiguity hypothesis from studies concerning aspectual verbs in languages from four distinct families, German (Wurmbrand 2001), Japanese (Fukuda 2006), Romance languages (Cinque 2003), and Basque (Arregi Molina-Azaola 2004). These data strongly suggest that across languages aspectual verbs can appear in two different syntactic positions, either below or above vP, or the projection with which an external argument is introduced (Kratzer 1994, 1996, Chomsky 1995). Given these findings, I argue that it is the aspectual verbs' position with respect to vP which creates the control/raising ambiguity. When an aspectual verb appears in a position that is lower than vP, an external argument takes scope over the aspectual verb. Thus, it is interpreted as control. When an aspectual verb appears in a position that is higher than vP, on the other hand, it is the aspectual verb that takes scope over an entire vP, including the external argument. Thus, it is interpreted as raising. In section 5, I extend the scope of this study to include a discussion of want-type verbs in Indonesian, as analyzed in Polinsky & Potsdam (2006). Polinsky & Potsdam argue that the Indonesian want-type verbs must be raising in at least certain cases where they allow a rather peculiar interpretation. Although they assume that there are also control counterparts of the want-type verbs, I argue that applying the proposed analysis to the want-type verbs does away with the need for stipulating two distinct lexical entries for these verbs. Section 6 concludes the paper.