Perspectives on Binding

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In this article I address the question as to why natural language has special principles governing the binding of pronouns and anaphors and the licensing of reflexive predicates. That is, why do we have principles such as conditions A, and B of the binding theory? Based on facts from Malayalam discussed by Jayaseelan (1997), I show that the role of licensing reflexivity and the obligation to be (locally) bound should be fundamentally distinguished. A crucial property of complex anaphors is that they allow the language system to express reflexivity, and yet prevent an arity violation from arising.


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