Advanced Binding and some Binding Typology Part 1
1. Basics: Reminders
Here are some relevant examples of relations we talked about previously.
left after she
(2) If his
mother agrees, John
looked at herself
As we saw, we need to distinguish between several types of expressions:
a. Anaphors: Reflexive/Reciprocals: xself, each other, one another, (perhaps PRO?),.
b. Pronouns: she, they, me, his, (perhaps PRO?), etc.
c. Everything else, which we called R-expressions
Among R-expressions, we distinguished between referential expressions, which point to some real or
imaginary, concrete or abstract object, and non referential expressions which do not.
Coindexing between referential expressions means coreference this is for example what happens in (1) or
(2). Coindexing involving a non referential expression as in (3) denotes a relation of referential
dependence which we will not discuss in detail but is intuitively clear enough for our purposes.
The reason why we distinguished among these expressions is that they behave differently from each
other. We can see this by looking at coindexing possibilites in simple cases. In English, we found two
types of situations:
There are contexts in which anaphors require coindexing, while pronouns and R-expressions prohibit it:
/ [Every girl]
saw [each other]
There are contexts in which R-expressions prohibit coindexing while anaphors and pronouns allow it
brother / *[John and Mary]
’s brother /
The first case shows that anaphors have some property A and the other two do not (they have property –
A). The second case show that R-expressions have property R, while the other two do not (they have
property –R). No binary distinction will suffice to describe this as the following table illustrate:
To account for the behavior of these expressions, we have formulated the Binding Conditions ( see
chapter 8, and section 9.3 and 11.3 of the textbook), as follows.
We have introduced the notion of binding:
(7) A DP1 is bound
by another DP2 just in case DP2 c-commands DP1 and they are coindexed. A DP
which is not bound is free