KACL Lecture Series

#29 : Tibor Kiss
Professor, Sprachwissenschaftliches Institut Ruhr-Universitadt, Bochum, Gernamy
Title: Picture NP Reflexives -- A Comparative Survey
Date : July 27, 2004, 17:00--18:30
Place : Kobe Shoin Women's University. Room 1412, ground floor of Bldg 14, right next to the Graduate School Building (Bldg 13)

During the development of Binding Theory in the 1980s, picture NP reflexives (1) have been considered as highly problematic since they resist a treatment in terms of Principle A and thus preclude a simple theory of reflexive distribution.

(1) John_i told Mary_j that pictures of themselves_i+j were on sale.

With the advent of an argument structure based theory of reflexive binding in Pollard and Sag (1992, 1994) -- and the quite similar theory of Reinhart and Reuland (1993) -- a rather different picture emerged: Picture NP reflexives were now considered as non-anaphoric and hence fall outside the scope of Principle A. Consequently, they were terms as exempt reflexives.

Although this theory works nicely for English, a comparative survey reveals that not all picture NP reflexives follow this pattern: In many languages, picture NP reflexives have to be considered as anaphoric. Moreover, it remains somewhat unclear under which circumstances binding theory turns a reflexive into an exempt one.

My talk focusses on a prominent subclass of picture NP reflexives, viz. picture NP reflexives in the subject of so-called object-experiencer psych verbs (2).

(2) These nude pictures of himself_i annoyed John_i.

Considering data from a variety of languages, I will entertain the followingassumptions:

1) Picture NP reflexives are not per se exempt, but may become exempt if Principle A in a language receives a particular, conditional formulation.
2) Reflexives in the subject of object-experiencer psych verbs will only emerge if a language allows exempt reflexives, i.e. there is no 'inverse binding' in cases like (2).

I will illustrate the claim by considering data from German, English, Italian, Korean, and Portuguese. The theory developed is a generalization of the theory of reflexive binding proposed for English in Pollard and Sag (1992, 1994), which allows the determination of individual, language-specific principles A by fixing a small class of parameters which constrain reflexive binding on argument structure.


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