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Binding and Morphology Revisited

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Abstract

One of the earliest and most compelling observations to emerge in response to Chomsky&#8217;s binding theory was the suspicious cross-linguistic correlation between the morphological structure of anaphors and their interpretive potential. Specifically, morphologically simplex anaphors (e.g. Russian <i>sebja</i>) are subject-oriented and can be bound by more distant antecedents than complex anaphors (e.g. English <i>himself</i>), which generally require local antecedents, the grammatical function of which is not restricted to Subject. This dependence, however, was inconsistent with the GB architecture of the grammar, in which PF and LF were mediated by S-structure and, under Minimalism, is incoherent: meaning/LF cannot <i>in principle</i> be read off of morphology/PF. Instead, it must be the anaphor&#8217;s LF &#8220;morphological&#8221; structure that somehow determines its binding properties. This paper therefore explores Slavic data for which PF and LF morphology diverge and argues that it is invariably the anaphor&#8217;s presumed LF morphology that is relevant for binding. Keywords: anaphora; binding; Logical Form (LF); morphology; parameter

References

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