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Tsing Hua Journal of Chinese Studies
ISSN 0577-9170; DOI 10.6503/THJCS


The AV-only Restriction and Locality in Formosan Languages

Vol. 47 No.2  6/2017


The AV-only Restriction and Locality in Formosan Languages


Henry Y. Chang









Key words

the AV-only restriction, Formosan language, complement clause, restructuring, external argument, locality


  Under a generative framework, this paper investigates the properties of the AV-only restriction on complementation and how it comes about across many Formosan languages. It is found that the AV-only complements occur as a nonfinite defective vP without any formal feature and that they are tenselss and subjectless—temporal markers must attach to the matrix verb; the embedded object, if any, is required to move to the matrix subject position to get case. The AV-only restriction is attested not only in restructuring constructions but also in non-restructuring ones. In both types, the matrix verbs are highly restricted: in the first type, the matrix verb is restricted to a restructuring verb and in the second type, the matrix verb is limited to a verb that projects an external argument. In restructuring contexts, the matrix external argument, if there is one, is inert and creates no intervention effects for the shifted embedded object; in non-restructuring contexts, the matrix external argument blocks the raising of the embedded object, thereby preventing the embedded verb from occurring in the non-AV transitive form. The AV-only restriction is due to multiple factors, most important of which is a locality condition.



Author: Henry Y. Chang
Genre: Article
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