Working Papers in Linguistics - 2003

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    A Comparative Study of Double-Object Constructions in English and Thai: the Minimalist Program and Construction Grammar
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2003-11-01) Timyam, Napasri
    This paper studies the double-object construction in English and Thai within the frameworks of the Minimalist Program and Construction Grammar. It aims to examine the cross-linguistic properties of this construction to see if these properties can answer the controversial question of why only a small group of verbs can occur in double-object patterns. The results of the comparative study lead to two major conclusions. First, they reveal that the double-object construction, involving three NP arguments, is associated with a set of closely related senses of transfer. Such a semantic constraint and a syntactic property of the construction, i.e., the interaction between roles, account for its restricted occurrence. That is, the distribution of this linguistic structure is motivated by the meaning of the construction and the fusion of the construction’s argument roles and the verb’s participant roles. Second, the results of the study show that a linguistic theory that aims to explain this argument structure should include syntax, semantics, and distribution in its scope of analysis. According to this criterion, CG gives a better account of the construction. By associating each argument structure with a particular semantic core, CG can provide answers to the questions about the shared syntactic and semantic properties of the double- object pattern and the cross-linguistic effect these properties have on the distribution of the construction. 
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    Do-support is Difficult to Do: Evidence from Doubling Errors
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2003-11-01) Hattori, Ryoko
    This study investigates the L1 acquisition phenomenon of “doubling errors”; “tense and/or agreement is incorrectly expressed twice–once on the ‘fronted’ auxiliary and once on the main verb” (O’Grady 1997:166). I evaluate three hypotheses—the Subject Auxiliary Inversion (SAI) hypothesis, the movement hypothesis, and the do-insertion hypothesis—concerning doubling errors. Through the examination of the occurrence of doubling errors in yes/no questions and negative declaratives, it is found that doubling errors occur far more frequently in do-contexts than in non-do-contexts. This asymmetry between the frequency of doubling errors in do-contexts and those in non-do-contexts is accounted for by the involvement of do-insertion (the do-insertion hypothesis), not by an un-adult-like question formation rule (the SAI hypothesis) nor by an un-adult-like movement rule (the movement hypothesis). It is argued that the underlying factor in doubling errors is the demands of do-insertion itself. This is presumably because do-insertion is a costly language-specific process and is a cross-linguistically marked process. This paper provides cross-linguistic evidence and theoretical support for the claim that do-insertion is marked.
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    The Synonymy vs. Nonsynonymy Hypothesis for Causatives in Korean
    (University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Department of Linguistics, 2003-09-01) Kim, Jae-Yeon
    It is well known that there are two types of causatives in Korean, i.e., morphological and syntactic causatives. For quite a while linguists have debated whether these two types of causatives are semantically the same or different. On one front, there is a minority, represented by Yang among others, who argue that morphological and syntactic causatives in Korean are synonymous. On the other front, however, there are those, such as Shibatani, who believe that these two types of causatives are different, i.e., they are nonsynonymous. Despite continuous research on this issue, unfortunately it is still unclear as to what extent they resemble and/or differ from each other. This paper examines Haiman’s Iconicity Principle, according to which conceptual unity/independence is reflected by linguistic closeness/separateness. The present paper argues that although Haiman’s Iconicity Principle cannot account for Korean causatives as such, the general view of the semantic difference between morphological and syntactic causatives in Korean should remain intact, i.e., the former causatives are related to direct causation and the latter to indirect causation.