This paper investigates categories of Japanese multiple negative sensitive item constructions (multiple NSI constructions, hereafter). I focus primarily on multiple NSI constructions which are involved with sika ‘only’, indeterminate-mos such as dare-mo ‘anyone’, nani-mo ‘anything’, dokoni-mo ‘anywhere’ and adverbial NSI of kessite ‘never’.
A study on Japanese multiple NSI constructions has recently been one of the hottest issues. Since Nishioka (2000)’s works, various theoretical approaches have attempted to capture the properties of the constructions (Sells (2001), Kuno and Whitman (2004),Watanabe (2004), inter alia). Although their concrete arguments are quite different, there is one common thing in their arguments. That is, there exists only one category of Japanese multiple NSI constructions. However, we can easily find that the generalization is not true through a couple of phenomena such as linear constraints between NSIs and differences in interpretation of sika.
The arguments of the paper are two-fold. Firstly, there exist four categories of Japanese multiple NSI constructions. Secondly, in order to categorize them properly, we should classify the NSIs into three groups, namely, (i) multiple NSI constructions involved with sika and dare-mo, dokoni-mo, (ii) ones contained with sika and nani-mo, (iii) the other types such as included with sika and kessite or with indeterminate-mos and kessite.