University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This paper focuses on multiple nominative constructions (MNCs) in Japanese, pursuing the question of how nominative ga-marked phrases are syntactically licensed. MNCs in Japanese, in which more than one ga-marked phrase can occur within a clause, have widely been studied by a number of linguists (e.g. Fukui, 1986; Heycock, 1993; Kuno, 1973; Takezawa, 1987; Tateshi, 1994; Vermeulen, 2005; Whitman, 2001). A previous view with regard to syntactic positions for ga-marked phrases in Japanese MNCs is that each ga-phrase appears in multiple specifiers (Specs) (or multiple adjunction) of TP (e.g. Hiraiwa, 2001; Ura, 1996; Vermeulen 2005). I argue, however, that each ga-marked phrase does not occur in multiple Spec positions, but rather, they occur in different projections. Following Kayne’s (1994) Antisymmetry approach, the analysis presented here provides good evidence that multiple Specs are not available at PF, which accordingly shows that (i) the LCA is a PF constraint and that (ii) phrase structure follows Antisymmetry. It naturally follows that each ga-marked phrase and its predicate in an MNC are always mediated by a (functional) head.