Date of Completion


Embargo Period


Major Advisor

Jonathan David Bobaljik

Co-Major Advisor

Susanne Wurmbrand

Associate Advisor

Željko Bošković

Associate Advisor

Osamu Sawada

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


This dissertation aims at constructing a syntactic and (to a lesser extent) semantic theory of quotative complementation in Japanese mediated by the reporting suffix to, Rep for short. Rep has been treated as a complementizer (C) in the literature. However, I will propose that Rep is not C but an instance of an adjunct clitic in the sense of Aoyagi (1998), contrary to the widely accepted view. This captures the wide range of distribution of Rep that has been understudied in the generative literature, and we can provide a uniform analysis ofto without postulating multiple lexical instances of Rep that happen to be morphologically identical. Semantically, Rep triggers the cartesian product type, where as Potts (2007a) argues for the quote semantics, the attitude dimension and the utterance dimension compose an ordered pair, and this in turn motivates the presence of a covert verb, SAY, and this verb is the very item that introduces a quoted item or an embedded clause to the structure. We will then explore the empirical and theoretical consequences of the proposed system both Japanese-internally and crosslinguistically. Specifically, I will discuss how a clause with Rep is embedded, contending that it is a case of VP-complementation. This explains why it can function only as an internal argument, which state of affairs is paralleled with Sakha (Baker 2011) and leads us to consider Japanese in comparison with other languages that have the ‘say’ verb grammaticalized to embed a clause. We will then reconsider the nature of pro-form of clauses with Rep, adjunct-like clauses with Rep and the hearsay construction in Japanese with reference to that in (Iberian) Spanish.