The exhaustivity of an embedded interrogative sentence can be altered by the presence of an adverb in the matrix clause. This phenomenon, known as Quantificational Variability Effect (QVE), manifests itself in a peculiar way in Japanese. A QVE-inducing adverb can take the form of a numeral classifier that agrees with the embedded Wh-phrase. While a QVE-inducing numeral classifier appears to be associated with an embedded wh-phrase, it is not clear how such an association can be established. I argue that Japanese embedded questions are implicitly nominalized in the fashion similar to the internally-headed relative clause construction, and that the nominalized embedded questions are treated as concealed questions. The proposed analysis gives a very simple account for the puzzling QVE construction, as the floated quantifier structure with a concealed-question-denoting NP is commonplace. The paper examines a variety of phenomena, such as doubly headed relative clause structure and selectional restrictions on QVE, which support the nominal structure of Japanese embedded questions.
Previous studies in L1 research have claimed that native speakers are able to disambiguate scopally ambiguous sentences using prosodic cues. The present study seeks to investigate if the above claim is true in the case of learners of the Japanese language. We discovered that L2 Japanese learners had difficulty in mapping between scopally ambiguous interpretations and their appropriate prosodic patterns. We claim that these prosodic patterns were neither taught explicitly in class, nor are they available in the learners’ L1 knowledge base. Since they do not possess such knowledge in their long-term memory, the immediate cognitive context could not match with the incoming linguistic acoustic cues to give rise to salience. The present study suggests that L2 Japanese learners cannot learn accentual patterns implicitly, at least in a formal classroom set up, a conclusion corroborated by previous studies.
This paper describes how the Japanese speakers’ knowledge is organized in regards to verbs, and proposes a linguistically-informed way of introducing it to second language learners. It is maintained by a number of researchers that each verb is stored with the information of its argument structure in the speaker’s mental lexicon. That is, a given verb is stored with the information of how many arguments it takes and what types of arguments they are. In this paper, capitalizing on this assumption, we will maintain that the knowledge of the native speakers of Japanese is organized in such a way that if a verb gives rise to n-number of different meanings, there are n-number of lexical entries, and each such entry is independently stored with the information concerning the meaning of the verb, the verb arguments and their accompanying particles. After the description of the organization of Japanese speakers’ knowledge in regards to verbs, as an effective way of introducing this to Japanese language learners, the paper proposes the format of an innovative approach to Japanese verbs reference book. This proposed format capitalizes on full sentence definitions in the sense of the Collins Cobuild Dictionary.