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Establishing Anaphoric Dependencies and the Puzzle of Split Antecedents
Anna Volkova
408-416 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


According to the Binding Theory of (Chomsky 1981), anaphors must be bound in their local domain (governing category) and pronominals must be free. A widely adopted operational test proposed by Giorgi (1984) states that pronouns can have split antecedents and anaphors cannot. This view is wired into the recent minimalist binding theories through the way a dependency on the antecedent is established - via Agree (Rooryck and Vanden Wyngaerd 2011), movement (Hornstein 2001), or SELF-movement and Agree-based chains (Reuland 2011). However, this leads to an important problem, since some languages have elements that i) may be locally bound and thus seem to behave like anaphors; yet ii) allow split antecedents which is a property of pronominals (e.g. Japanese and Korean, Katada 1991, Kasai 2000). The present paper reviews data from one such language, namely Meadow Mari (Uralic), and provides an account for it within a modular approach to binding (Reuland 2011). The author argues that the reflexive in Meadow Mari is a grammaticalized relational noun and is, therefore, deficient as it is left with one open argument, unlike a lexical relational noun (like spirit, body or father) that can by itself close this argument. The value for this argument is supplied by Agree which accounts for the syntactic constraints on the antecedent and the binding domain.

Published in

Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by Kyeong-min Kim, Pocholo Umbal, Trevor Block, Queenie Chan, Tanie Cheng, Kelli Finney, Mara Katz, Sophie Nickel-Thompson, and Lisa Shorten
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00