Argumenthood, pronouns, and nominal feature geometry

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This article explores the syntactic and feature-geometric properties of English pronouns, and offers some novel solutions to questions identified by Déchaine & Wiltschko (2002) and Rullmann (2004). Building on work by Cowper & Hall (2003, 2005) and Cowper (2005), we propose denotations and geometrical organizations for features of #, ϕ, and D, and show how these representations and their various syntactic realizations can account for the behaviour of pronouns in English, Halkomelem, and Shuswap. Our analysis provides a consistent interpretation for ϕ, rather than the dual nature proposed by Déchaine & Wiltschko (2002), and eliminates the need for at least one instance of coercion.


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