Linguistics in the Netherlands 2012
  • ISSN 0929-7332
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9919


The present paper discusses a decisive difference in Dutch between the d(emonstrative)-pronoun and the p(ersonal)-pronoun. The d-pronoun is a grammatical device for focus-to-topic-shift. Van Kampen (2010) derived this from two properties of the d-pronoun, neither of them present in the p-pronoun. (i) The d-pronoun obviates as antecedent all arguments except the first preceding focus. (ii) The d-pronoun introduces the new topic of its sentence. The present paper derives three other properties of the d-pronoun. The d-pronoun allows a bound variable reading in certain complex CPs (Section 2). A d-pronoun in a temporal adjunct CP can bind a quantifier in the matrix CP, but it does not do so in non-temporal adjunct CPs (Section 3), nor in complement CPs (Section 4). Since the d-pronoun is not only an anaphor locally bound by the first preceding focus, but also a discourse anaphor, it invites a reconsideration of the notion ‘bound anaphor’ in the Binding Theory.


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