Person split and the syntax of imposters
Danniel Carvalho
May 2022

This paper aims to introduce a unified analysis for two phenomena involving the category person: nominal imposters, which are nominal expressions with personal reading, and imposter pronouns, which are personal pronominal forms with impersonal reading. Based on the referential structure proposed by Collins and Postal (2012), and the pronominal DP structure by Orlando and Saab (2021), I propose an analysis in which imposter expressions have participant pragmatic features to which the syntactic structure is sensitive, namely: [AUTHOR] and [ADDRESSEE]. These features, however, differ from the 1st and 2nd person phi-features, which are responsible only for the agreement operation. Thus, there is an asymmetry in the configuration of imposter DPs: while nominal imposters do not have person phi-features, which blocks the personal morphology in the sentence agreement of these expressions, imposter pronouns lack participant pragmatic features, preventing a referential reading. These pragmatic features are computable in a syntactic projection, which is responsible for linking nominals to discursive relations: GroundP (Ritter; Wiltschko, 2019). Finally, I demonstrate that nominal and pronominal impostors have their participant features valued in the position of the specifier of two functional heads above the DP, which are responsible for the speaker and addressee readings.
Format: [ pdf ]
Reference: lingbuzz/006604
(please use that when you cite this article)
Published in: Submitted
keywords: imposters, determiner phrase, speech act projection, syntax
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