Features on bound pronouns: an argument against syntactic agreement approaches
Itai Bassi, Nicholas Longenbaugh
August 2018
 

phi-features on bound pronouns seem (at least sometimes) to be uninterpreted. For example, in "only I did my homework" the bound "my" corresponds to a variable that isn't restricted to the speaker. In light of this, some have argued that bound pronouns are feature-less at LF and that their morphological realization is a result of syntactic agreement with their binder (Heim 2008; Kratzer 2009 a.o.). We provide an empirical argument against this view. We show, based on observations by Sudo (2013) and McKillen (2016), that syntactic agreement approaches systematically undergenerate cases of uninterpreted phi-features on donkey (‘E-type’) anaphora - co-varying pronouns whose relationship to their intra-sentential antecedent does not respect conditions usually considered necessary for syntactic agreement. We show how an alternative approach, on which bound pronouns always carry semantically-active features, can straightforwardly account for the data. We furthermore present another advantage of our alternative approach over the syntactic agreement one, coming from ‘split-binding’ configurations (Rullmann 2004).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/004056
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: NELS 48 Proceedings
keywords: binding, pronouns, phi features, focus, alternatives, feature transmission, donkey anaphora, e-type pronouns, split binding, partial binding, agreement, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v2 [July 2018]
v1 [June 2018]
Downloaded:305 times

 

[ edit this article | back to article list ]