Identifying Co-reference of Zibun and Caki: The Case of Reflexives in Japanese and Korean

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This study examines the properties of co-reference in DPs and the Japanese reflexive zibun, and the Korean reflexive caki. We posit that the resolution of local and long distance binding ambiguity in Japanese and Korean is influenced by the case particles that mark the reflexives. Results from a truth-value judgment task showed that Japanese and Koreans not only have different binding patterns but local and long distance binding varies based on case-marked reflexives. Bonferroni post-hoc tests revealed that Japanese prefer local binding when zibun is marked by the nominative case and long distance binding for the dative and accusative cases, while the Koreans prefer long distance binding when caki is marked by the genitive, dative, and accusative cases. Overall, our results show that further studies of reflexives should closely examine the role of case markers in ambiguity resolution and also examine how native speakers parse and process ambiguous sentences.



Binding theory, case, reflexivity, zibun, caki


Li, Noriyasu and Alan Juffs. "Identifying Co-reference of Zibun and Caki: The Case of Reflexives in Japanese and Korean." Buckeye East Asian Linguistics, vol. 3 (October 2018), p. 64-74.