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Bookmark and Share Paper 3519

Demystifying Picture Noun Anaphors
Shannon Bryant and Isabelle Charnavel
98-106 (complete paper or proceedings contents)


English anaphors within NPs headed by representational nouns like picture or story (i.e., picture noun anaphors) have long been treated as belonging to an exceptional class due to their seeming exemption from the structural conditions imposed on anaphoric binding (Warshawsky 1965, Ross 1967, Postal 1971, Bouchard 1984, Drummond et al. 2011, i.a.). Focusing on American English, the goal of this paper is to show that picture noun anaphors are in fact not special -- that they, too, standardly obey Condition A of Binding Theory. This result relies on the following independently-motivated hypotheses, partly inspired by the literature: (i) Condition A is defined on domains delimited by subjects; (ii) anaphors can be bound by local implicit logophoric binders located within their binding domain; (iii) implicit logophoric binding is unavailable for anaphors with a coargumental subject due to a strong/weak competition principle independent of Condition A; (iv) picture nominals can, and sometimes must, project potentially implicit subjects. Based on new and existing data, it is argued that this novel set of hypotheses corrects the wrong predictions made by previous proposals intended to account for picture noun anaphors.

Published in

Proceedings of the 37th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics
edited by D. K. E. Reisinger and Marianne Huijsmans
Table of contents
Printed edition: $375.00