The status of the internally-headed relatives of Japanese/Korean within the typology of definite relatives

Alexander Grosu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The principal thesis defended in this paper is that the most recent and successful approach to the internally-headed relative (IHR) constructions of Japanese and Korean, i.e., the one in Kim (Nat Lang Semant 15:279-315, 2007)-which proposes, building on Hoshi (Structural and interpretive aspects of head-internal and head-external relative clauses, Ph. D. dissertation, University of Rochester, 1995) and Shimoyama (J East Asian Linguist 8:147-182, 1999; Wh-constructions in Japenese, Ph. D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2001), that the analysis of these IHRs needs to rely on the E-type strategy-is demonstrably wrong empirically in relation to both the procedure for licensing IHs and the characterization of temporal relations between the IHR and its matrix, as well as conceptually objectionable in attaching the E-type label to analyses that have to rely on mechanisms that are entirely independent of those used in analyses of E-type anaphora in discourse. The paper proposes an alternative analysis that avoids the difficulties encountered by E-type analyses, and which relies on local equation of the IH with a variable, ultimately assigning to the relative clause the status of a singleton predicate, thereby bringing these IHRs under the more general umbrella of definite/maximalizing relative constructions, while at the same time providing a motivated account of certain similarities between such IHRs and E-type anaphora, which, while real, do not justify an analytical reduction of the former to the latter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-274
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of East Asian Linguistics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2010


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation700/06


    • Definite/maximalizing relatives
    • E-type anaphora
    • Internally-headed relatives
    • Semantics
    • The Relevancy Condition


    Dive into the research topics of 'The status of the internally-headed relatives of Japanese/Korean within the typology of definite relatives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this