On Referential Parallelism and Compulsory Binding
Nicholas Fleisher
October 2021

Binding and ellipsis are empirically and theoretically symbiotic: each reveals otherwise hidden facts about the other. Here I investigate a case where a theory of binding is entwined with a problematic ellipsis licensing mechanism, with the result that there are strong reasons to abandon both. The ellipsis licensing mechanism in question is Referential Parallelism (Fox 2000), according to which a bound pronoun may support strict identity under ellipsis. Jettisoning this mechanism forces us to abandon theories of binding that involve what I call compulsory binding, which encode a grammatical preference for binding over coreference and for local over nonlocal binding (Reinhart 1983, Grodzinsky & Reinhart 1993, Fox 2000, B├╝ring 2005). In their place, I suggest that we adopt what I call the violation equivalence approach to binding (Heim 1993, Reinhart 2006, Roelofsen 2010) and a Fox-style ellipsis licensing mechanism based on formal alternatives (Katzir 2007, Fox & Katzir 2011).
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/005696
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: To appear in Linguistic Inquiry
keywords: ellipsis, binding, alternatives, parallelism, semantics, syntax
previous versions: v2 [January 2021]
v1 [January 2021]
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