University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics


This study aims to investigate the nature of clausal/phrasal disjunctions in Japanese and in English. Since Larson (1985), it has been observed that the distribution of either is taken to mirror the scopal properties of disjunction (Schwarz 1999). On the other hand, the Repetitive Coordinator-ka (RC-ka) in Japanese has been assumed to be optional (Kishimoto 2013). I propose, however, that RC-ka functions in parallel with the correlative coordinators such as either in English. The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 overviews the parallelisms between either and RC-ka in terms of scopal interpretations. Section 3 argues against an alternative view that either and RC-ka are focus particles but not a part of coordinate structure. In Section 4, I propose a derivational mechanism that derives nominal disjunctions from clausal/phrasal disjunctions in the post-syntactic component (Halle and Marantz 1993, Fukui and Sakai 2003). Section 5 further investigates the connectivity of ka and or, which lends credence to the unified account of the clausal/phrasal disjunctions in Japanese and in English. Section 6 is a brief summary of the present paper.