Japanese internally headed relatives: Their distinctness from potentially homophonous constructions

Alexander Grosu*, Koji Hoshi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper pursues two closely inter-related goals. One goal is to clarify and systematize the ways in which each of four distinct Japanese constructions, in particular, internally headed relatives, adverbial clauses, complement clauses, and gapless externally light-headed relatives, can be distinguished from the others in cases of homophony. The other goal is to use the results obtained in the pursuit of the former goal for the purpose of refuting earlier challenges to the theses that Japanese internally headed relatives are island-sensitive, get invariably construed as definite descriptions, disallow definite referential internal heads, and exhibit a ‘change’ sub-variety that is not reducible to gapless externally light-headed relatives. The paper assumes the correctness of the analytical approach outlined in Grosu & Landman (2012), and – crucially – that of the conceptual and technical refinements to the latter proposed in Landman (2016), some of which rely on the results of this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article number32
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2016


  • Adverbial clauses
  • Change-internally headed relatives
  • Complement clauses
  • Gapless externally light-headed relatives
  • Homophony
  • Internally headed relatives
  • Split-headed relatives


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