Context and Co(reference) in the syntax and its interfaces
Sandhya Sundaresan
November 2012

It is well known that referentially defective nominals fall into two broad categories: pro-forms whose reference seems structurally constrained (local anaphors, OC PRO) and those which are discourse-pragmatically conditioned (logophors, deictic pronouns, indexicals). Nevertheless, a strict binary distinction cannot be maintained because most actually straddle the syntax-discourse divide: e.g. deictic pronouns can be variable-bound, indexicals may be “shifted” under certain intensional operators, and logophors and long-distance anaphors often look and behave alike. The central thesis of this dissertation is that a proper subset of pro- forms can receive a unified analysis under an enriched grammatical model that posits the syntactic representation of mental and/or spatio-temporal perspective. To this end, I present novel evidence from verbal agreement triggered under anaphora to show that even so-called “logophoric” reference involves an indelible syntactic core. I propose that perspective is featurally represented on a silent pronominal operator in the specifier of a Perspectival phrase (PerspP) at the phasal-edge of certain CPs, PPs, DPs, and AspPs and may be exploited to yield a unified account of anaphora and agreement patterns triggered under it. Anaphora involves two distinct dependencies: an Agree relationship between the anaphor and the operator in the [Spec, PerspP] of its minimal phase, which is the equivalent of syntactic binding, and a conceptual relationship between the antecedent and this operator, which is the equivalent of non-obligatory control. Thus, all binding is local and syntactic; all antecedence is non-local and (primarily) non-syntactic. I also illustrate that perspective must be kept conceptually and structurally distinct from the Kaplanian utterance context and the intensional “context” responsible for indexical shift. The main language of investigation is the Dravidian language Tamil but crosslinguistic comparisons are made with: Abe, Aghem, Amharic, Czech, Donna SO, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Mupun, Navajo, North Sami, Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Slave, Swahili, Telugu, Uyghur, and Zazaki. The Tamil judgments are bolstered by the results of an online survey conducted among 38 native speakers around the world.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/001743
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: PhD dissertation, University of Tromsø/Universität Stuttgart
keywords: anaphora, indexicals, logophora, monsters, agreement, complementation, clause size, discourse perspective, kaplanian context, argument structure, reference, tamil, semantics, morphology, syntax
previous versions: v1 [November 2012]
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