The Role of Light Verb Projection in Transitivity Alternation

Hiromu Sakai, Adrian Ivana, Chao Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper looks at the transitivity alternation phenomenon in Japanese, evinced by the verbs sum ‘do’ and naru ‘become,’ and tries to bring empirical evidence to support the proposal that these verbs are the counterparts of the two kinds of light verbs, v and v∗, proposed by Chomsky (2001). An empirical basis is given for the existence of v/v∗, and the result of the analysis clarifies the similarities and differences between the clause architecture of English and Japanese. From a theoretical standpoint, the result supports the Agree mechanism proposed by Chomsky (2001).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-375
Number of pages28
JournalEnglish Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Agree
  • light verb
  • parametric syntax
  • phrase structure
  • transitivity alternation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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