Psycholinguistic evidence for the VP-internal subject position in Japanese

Masatoshi Koizumi, Katsuo Tamaoka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    26 Citations (Scopus)


    The question of whether the subject stays in its thematic position within the VP or moves to Spec,TP is difficult to answer with respect to free word order languages such as Japanese because the surface constituent orders in these languages do not necessarily provide sufficient information to determine syntactic positions. In this article, we present psycholinguistic evidence for the theoretical hypothesis that, in Japanese, the subject must move to Spec,TP in sentences with the subject-objectverb word order, but may stay within the VP in sentences with the object-subject-verb word order.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)663-680
    Number of pages18
    JournalLinguistic Inquiry
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Experimental syntax
    • Scrambling
    • Sentence processing
    • VP adverb
    • Word order

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language


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