University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


In this paper, I investigate negative structure in Japanese. The scope of Japanese negation appears to be narrower than that of English, which has lead to different treatment of Japanese and English negation in the literature (e.g., Kuno 1980, 1983, Han et al. 2004, Kataoka 2006, Kishimoto 2008). In contrast, I propose an analysis that maintains the same negative structure for Japanese and English. I demonstrate that all the scope facts regarding negative sentences in Japanese can be accounted for if Japanese has obligatory object movement into a higher domain, above NegP; the difference between Japanese and English is not the structural position of negation but the existence of this obligatory movement in Japanese. With this single negative structure + object movement analysis, I show that all the scope patterns discussed in the paper can be captured without any additional assumptions, and more importantly, that there is no need to assume different negative structure for Japanese any more.