Double-subject constructions in Japanese are analyzed from the standpoint of cognitive grammar. Their characterization in this framework, based on reference-point relationships and other independently attested phenomena, is unproblematic. Several grammatical properties indicate that the expressions in question-consisting of an outer subject juxtaposed with a nuclear clause-actually represent two distinct classes of constructions: double-subject constructions (properly called) and complex-predicate constructions (with just a single subject). It is argued that both types involve the same basic conceptual configuration, from which complex predicates arise in particular circumstances. When the nuclear clause has insufficient conceptual autonomy, inherently invoking the outer subject as a reference point, the nuclear predicate and the reference-point relationship profiled at the higher level of organization collapse into a single, complex predicate.
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