Indeterminates in comparatives as free choice items

Kimiko Nakanishi, Ken Hiraiwa


Japanese indeterminate pronouns have different interpretations depending on a particle that they appear with. Indeterminates may appear “bare” in the yori comparative, which leads to questions of whether they are existential quantifiers, negative polarity items (NPIs), universal quantifiers, or free choice items (FCIs), and of how they are licensed. We examine each possibility and argue that they are FCIs. We then provide novel evidence that the yori comparative has some properties of unconditional clauses, which corroborates our previous claim that indeterminate- based FCIs in Japanese are unconditional clauses.


comparatives; bare indeterminates; unconditionals; free choice; negative polarity; existential quantifiers; universal quantifiers

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Copyright (c) 2022 Kimiko Nakanishi, Ken Hiraiwa

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