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Anaphoric distribution in the prepositional phrase

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Abstract

The distribution of anaphoric pronouns in prepositional phrases has garnered much attention in the literature on antecedent binding since, contrary to fundamental binding principles, this syntactic environment appears to allow either reflexive or coreferential nonreflexive pronouns (c.f. Safir 2004; Reinhart & Reuland 1993; Pollard and Sag 1992). This paper takes a closer look at two prepositional phrase contexts in English and Norwegian, which seem to allow the reflexive pronoun when the PP superficially denotes directionality. With careful examination of the semantics of these constructions, it is shown that a vague notion of directionality evoked in the formal syntax notion of the functional projection PATH is insuffi cient to capture the data’s distribution pattern. The grammar must make reference to more detailed spatial configurations in order to model the real-world examples.

References

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