“Blocking” of productive, analytic causative forms by the existence of listed, lexical causative forms has been well studied in Japanese, but has been previously thought to not exist in English. In joint work with Hadas Kotek, we have identified an environment where causative blocking effects do in fact appear in English. We argue that the blocking effect is sensitive not to structural adjacency, as previously argued for Japanese (Harley, 2008), but instead to linear adjacency. The sensitivity to linear adjacency shows that the operations relevant to the blocking effect must occur post-linearization, and therefore contributes to our understanding of the timing of post-syntactic operations.

In addition, in a collaboration led by PIs Shigeru Miyagawa (MIT) and Masa Koizumi (Tōhoku University), I contributed to the development of ERP experiments to test different theories of morphological blocking as applied to causative constructions, in both English and Japanese.

Return to all projects