Coreference Violations ‘Beyond Principle B’

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Jayaseelan (1992) aims to account for the fact that ‘inverse copula sentences’ such as <i>My best friend is John </i>may exclude coreference between a Name and a pronoun in the absence of the c-command configuration which triggers the application of Principle B of the Binding Theory. For example, the inverse copula sentence <i>His teacher is John’s brother </i>disallows coreference between <i>his </i>and<i>John</i>, while the corresponding predicative sentence, in which the structural relation between pronoun and name is identical, allows it: <i>His brother is John’s teacher</i>. Jayaseelan proposes an LF movement which creates a configuration subject to Principle B and which applies in a natural way to the inverse sentence but not to the corresponding canonical predicative sentence. I adopt Jay’s idea that LF movement provides the key to an account of coreference violations ‘beyond Principle B’ in the inverse copula sentence. I propose that the Focus constituent of the inverse sentence is preposed and subsequently 'deconstructed' into a Focus of Focus (F/F) and a presupposition of Focus (p/F). The rules which determine the interpretation of NPs at the syntaxsemantics interface then suffice to account for coreference violations both in the inverse copula sentence and in other sentence types.


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