Treating Greek o eaftos mu as a regular anaphor: Theoretical Implications.
Nikos Angelopoulos, Dominique Sportiche
December 2020

Binding theory Condition A must be so formulated as to accommodate the range of behaviors exhibited by anaphors crosslinguistically. In this respect, the behavior of the Modern Greek anaphor o eaftos mu is theoretically important as it has been reported to display a number of unusual distributional properties, thus leading to treatments by Iatridou (1988) or Anagnostopoulou and Everaert (1999) different from that of standard anaphors represented by English himself and thus requiring a rethinking of the classic Condition A descriptive generalization and its theoretical derivation. This paper revisits the distribution of this expression documenting first that previous discussions are subject to a confound as this expression is not always a reflexive. Controlling for this confound and relying on new data surveys, we conclude that when anaphoric, o eaftos mu is in fact a well behaved standard anaphor from the point of view of the standard Condition A (akin to Chomsky 1986). These surveys support some aspects of the empirical picture presented in Anagnostopoulou and Everaert (1999) but not others. It does support two important conclusions of theirs, namely that this expression cannot be used logophorically and that as nominative subject, it is allowed but in derived subject positions only. This in turn leads to a number of new (theoretical) consequences and predictions: (a) the absence of logophoric usage can be used to determine the domain of application of Condition A independently from the inanimacy criterion used in Charnavel and Sportiche (2016), and yields a picture consistent with its findings, (b) the ability of anaphors to function as nominative subjects can be reduced to differences in their internal structure (Greek o eaftos mu ≠ English himself), (c) an influential theoretical innovation made in Anagnostopoulou and Everaert (1999) which takes the reflexivization mechanism to be self-incorporation as a general solution to why self induces reflexive readings cannot be maintained as a general mechanism underlying anaphor binding in Greek.
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Reference: lingbuzz/005653
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted (comments welcome!)
keywords: anaphora, greek, syntax
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