Shigeru Miyagawa's research while affiliated with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other places

Publications (18)

Article
Grosu & Hoshi (2019:20), in their rejoinder to Kitagawa (2019), propose that apparent violations of island constraints in the so-called internally-headed relative clauses are accounted for by considering them as reduced doubly-headed relative clauses. This paper shows that this claim by Grosu and Hoshi is not empirically sustainable, and further th...
Article
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Japanese has functional elements with grammatical, semantic, or pragmatic functions. Case markers mark grammatical relations; the Q-particle clause-types the sentence as an interrogative; and the topic marker designates a phrase as the topic of the sentence. Along with these functions, we argue that these functional elements have a uniform function...
Article
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Using artificially synthesized stimuli, previous research has shown that cotton-top tamarin monkeys easily learn simple AB grammar sequences, but not the more complex AnBn sequences that require hierarchical structure. Humans have no trouble learning AnBn combinations. A more recent study, using similar artificially created stimuli, showed that the...
Article
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Early modern humans developed mental capabilities that were immeasurably greater than those of non-human primates. We see this in the rapid innovation in tool making, the development of complex language, and the creation of sophisticated art forms, none of which we find in our closest relatives. While we can readily observe the results of this high...
Chapter
There are generally two views of how language emerged in evolution: emergent and gradual. The emergent view holds that language appeared relatively rapidly within the last 100,000 years, possibly due to some minor mutation. The gradualist view postulates stages of “protolanguage” that began as a simple system that progressively developed into ever-...
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We take up three Negative Sensitive Items (NSIs) in Japanese, Wh-MO plain negative indefinites, exceptive XP-sika, and certain minimizing indefinites, such as rokuna N (‘any decent N’). Although these three NSIs behave differently, we demonstrate that the two traditional NSI categories of Negative Concord Items (NCIs) and Negative Polarity Items (N...
Article
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Our core hypothesis is that the emergence of human language arose very rapidly from the linking of two pre-adapted systems found elsewhere in the animal world-an expression system, found, for example, in birdsong, and a lexical system, suggestively found in non-human primate calls (Miyagawa et al., 2013, 2014). We challenge the view that language h...
Article
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How human language arose is a mystery in the evolution of Homo sapiens. Miyagawa et al. (2013) put forward a proposal, which we will call the Integration Hypothesis of human language evolution, that holds that human language is composed of two components, E for expressive, and L for lexical. Each component has an antecedent in nature: E as found, f...
Article
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This work concerns itself with Root Transformations (RT), specifically discussing the RT/non-RT nature of topic fronting in English, Japanese, and Spanish. We claim that this fronting is in principle compatible with all types of embedded clauses regardless of whether the selecting predicate is factive/non-factive, or whether the selected propositio...
Article
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We propose a novel account for the emergence of human language syntax. Like many evolutionary innovations, language arose from the adventitious combination of two pre-existing, simpler systems that had been evolved for other functional tasks. The first system, Type E(xpression), is found in birdsong, where the same song marks territory, mating avai...
Article
In Dagur, the genitive subject is licensed by D while in Turkish it is licensed by C. For the genitive subject in Japanese, both D-licensing as in Dagur and C-licensing as in Turkish have been proposed. Drawing on the earliest work on genitive subjects in Japanese by Harada (1971), I argue against the C-licensing approach in Japanese, and I develop...
Article
We will compare genitive subjects in three Altaic languages, Dagur, Japanese, and Turkish. We will see that in Dagur and Turkish, which have φ-feature agreement, the φ-feature probe merges on a phase head — D in Dagur and C in Turkish. Following Hale (2002), I analyze the Dagur RC as AspP, while it is a full CP in Turkish (Kornfilt 2003). We will e...
Article
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We defend the idea that a floating quantifier observes syntactic locality with its associated noun phrase. This idea has given rise to a number of important empirical insights, including the VP-internal subject posi-tion, intermediate traces, and NP-traces. Recently, this syntactic local-ity of floating quantifiers has been questioned in a number o...
Article
Boškovićć (2004) argues that what defines scrambling in languages such as Japanese is its ‘‘undoing property (Saito 1989). Boškovićć (2004) and Boškovićć and Takahashi (1998) argue that this ‘‘undoing property shows the way for scrambling to count as a last-resort operation, instead of being purely optional as is widely believed. In this article, I...
Article
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Ditransitive verbs such as send and give appear in two distinct structures in English, the double object and the to-dative constructions. It is well known that the two differ semantically and syntactically. In some recent works, it is suggested that the semantic differences observed by Bresnan (1978), Oehrle (1976) and others, and the structural pr...
Article
In languages that lack morphological agreement, focus plays a role which is computationally equivalent to agreement. The EPP on T picks out the focused XP and raises it to the Spec of TP, very much like the agreeing phrase in languages with agreement. Why should there be this 'parametric variation' between agreement and focus? Following Chomsky (20...
Article
In the Minimalist Program, one does not expect optional operations. In this spirit, in Miyagawa (1997, 2001, 2003a, 2005b), I provide a non-optional account of local A-scrambling, which previously was thought to be entirely optional. However, long-distance scrambling, or A'-scrambling, appears to be truly optional, making it necessary after all to...

Citations

... As such, it is possible -though further cross-linguistic research is needed -to entertain the idea that major features of language change result directly from syntax-semantics and CI requirements. Relatedly, Miyagawa et al. (2019) claim, following Saito (2016Saito ( , 2018, that when Case markers attach to XPs they block labeling and allow the sister element to project instead, with Topic marking having the same function. In contrast, the Q-particle in Japanese allows the C to project. ...
... One reason why compositionality has occupied such a prominent role in these discussions is that there is an influential strand of research that has focused on formal operations found in human language that are hypothesized to be absent in other animals (e.g., Hauser et al., 2002;Miyagawa & Clarke, 2019). However, as we have argued, modern usage-based and constructionist approaches in linguistics offer an important additional perspective on this question (e.g., . ...
... Evidence for burial and funerary practices is also accumulating (Balzeau et al., 2020;Pomeroy et al., 2020). However, unlike for H. sapiens, there is reluctance to link symbolic behavior in Neanderthals with complex language abilities (Miyagawa et al., 2018). ...
... The Integration Hypothesis (IH) is proposed by Miyagawa et al. (2013), Miyagawa et al. (2014), andMiyagawa (2017) (see also Nóbrega and Miyagawa 2015). IH maintains that human language with infinite hierarchical structure emerged from the integration of the two pre-adapted systems, the expressive system (E system) of songbirds and the lexical system (L system) of primate calls. ...
... Nevertheless, it has to subsequently move out of vP due to its focus property. For instance, Miyagawa et al. (2016) observed that an NP-shika cannot follow vP adverbs, such as "umaku" (well), as shown in (13). "Umaku" is assumed to be located at the edge of vP, and thus an element preceding it is supposed to be outside of vP, while an item following it should be inside vP. ...
... Language evolution remains a hotly debated, yet somewhat controversial topic, due to our limited ability to experimentally investigate it and observe it in nature. While some researchers contend that modern-like language emerged in a single leap from a "languageless" state (Berwick, 1998;Chomsky, 2002;Berwick et al., 2013;Nóbrega and Miyagawa, 2015;Berwick andChomsky, 2016, 2019;Chomsky et al., 2019;Tattersall, 2019;Reboul, 2021), others believe language evolution followed a more gradual path (Bickerton, 1990(Bickerton, , 2000(Bickerton, , 2007Arbib, 2005;Hurford, 2007Hurford, , 2012; Krause et al., 2007;Knight, 2009;Casielles and Progovac, 2012;Dediu and Levinson, 2013, 2014, 2018McMahon and McMahon, 2013;Collier et al., 2014;Janković and Šojer, 2014;Tallerman, 2014Tallerman, , 2016Lieberman, 2015;Everett, 2016;Planer, 2017;Gabrić et al., 2018Gabrić et al., , 2021Michlich, 2018;Gabrić, 2019Gabrić, , 2021aProgovac, 2019;Barham and Everett, 2020;Botha, 2020;Lameira and Call, 2020;Mounier et al., 2020;Neto, 2020). Several scholars from the latter school of thought have proposed that there was a two-word stage in the course of language evolution, in which utterances could not combine more than two words (Jackendoff, 1999;Gil, 2008Gil, , 2009Hurford, 2012, p. 585ff.;Jackendoff ...
... This contrasts with the familiar hypothesis that lexical items are the atomic elements that can be shared among humans, other animals and perhaps machines, whereas the structures built out of lexical items crossing the boundary between lexical items and other functional items (for example, prepositions, tense markers) are unique to humans (seeMiyagawa et al. 2014). It needs to recognized that lexical items, when taken to be atomic elements as part of a formal system, are actually conceptually empty minimal items in their formal characterization. ...
... For Romance NSLs it has been generally assumed that overt LI constructions involve valuation of clausal subject requirements, i.e., EPP in Spec,TP, by movement of a spatial or sometimes also temporal XP (Pinto 1997;Sheehan 2007). Indeed, this is unsurprising if we take a good deal of work seriously that shows the traditional subject position in NSLs to act more easily as an A'-position of sorts, bearing less of an inherent relationship to nominative subjects -albeit with different formulations (see Fontana 1993;Alexiadou and Anagnostopoulou 1998;Cardinaletti 2004;Jiménez-Fernández and Miyagawa 2014;Quarezemin and Cardinaletti 2017, among others). ...
... Following Pesetsky (1987), which asserted a categorical D-linking difference between bare and complex wh-expressions, research on Japanese and Korean wh-movement has argued for left-dislocation of whexpressions in those languages to involve scrambling and for scrambling to involve D-linkage. Thus, according to Miyagawa (2006), scrambled wh-expressions can at some point be D-linked (Miyagawa 2006, Yoon 2013. This is illustrated in Miyagawa (2006), wherein it is suggested for pair-list questions, such as (12), that a scrambled wh-expression induces D-linkage. ...
... The Integration Hypothesis (IH) is proposed by Miyagawa et al. (2013), Miyagawa et al. (2014), andMiyagawa (2017) (see also Nóbrega and Miyagawa 2015). IH maintains that human language with infinite hierarchical structure emerged from the integration of the two pre-adapted systems, the expressive system (E system) of songbirds and the lexical system (L system) of primate calls. ...