A clausal analysis of free choice demo in Japanese

Kimiko Nakanishi


It is commonly assumed that in Japanese, an indeterminate pronoun followed by demo (indet-demo) corresponds to free choice any in English (FC any). Based on a number of semantic differences between the two, I argue that indet-demo is not a nominal free choice item, but a concealed unconditional adjunct, corroborating the claim made by Nakanishi and Hiraiwa (2019) and Hiraiwa and Nakanishi (2020, to appear). Based on Rawlins’s (2008, 2013) Hamblin analysis of unconditionals in English, I propose a compositional semantics of indet-demo that captures its semantics properties.


free choice; indeterminates; unconditionals; free relatives, Japanese; modals; subtrigging; interrogatives; imperatives

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3765/plsa.v6i1.5017

Copyright (c) 2021 Kimiko Nakanishi

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