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Unformatted text preview: This page intentionally left blank Binding Theory Binding Theory seeks to explain how different kinds of nominal expressions such as names, noun phrases, and pronouns have anaphoric relations among one another, and how they come to have reference to things in the world. This textbook provides a thorough and comprehensive introduction to modern Binding Theory. Starting at a very basic level, it introduces the reader to a huge variety of nominal and especially pronominal expressions from the world’s languages, the ways they can be used, and current theorizing about their grammatical properties and their interpretation. Daniel Büring discusses a wide range of cross-linguistic data and theoretical approaches, and, unlike in existing introductions, pairs the discussion of syntactic facts with a detailed introduction to the semantic interpretation of binding structures. Written in a clear and accessible style, and with numerous exercises and examples, this textbook will be invaluable to graduate and advanced undergraduate students of syntax and semantics. ¨ R I N G teaches linguistics at the University DANIEL BU of California, Los Angeles. He has published various influential articles in formal semantics, syntax, and pragmatics, in particular on intonational meaning, focus, and binding theory. He has previously published The Meaning of Topic of Focus: The 59th Bridge Street Accent (1997). CAMBRIDGE TEXTBOOKS IN LINGUISTICS General editors: P . A U S T I N , J . B R E S N A N , B . C O M R I E , S. CRAIN, W. DRESSLER, C. J. EWEN, R. LASS, D. W. LIGHTFOOT, K. RICE, S. ROMAINE, N. V. SMITH Binding Theory In this series: P. H. MATTHEWS Morphology second edition Aspect R . M . K E M P S O N Semantic Theory T . B Y N O N Historical Linguistics J . A L L W O O D , L . - G . A N D E R S O N , and Ö . D A H L Logic in Linguistics D . B . 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V A N V A L I N , J R , and R . J . L A P O L L A Syntax: Structure, Meaning and Function A . D U R A N T I Linguistic Anthropology A . C R U T T E N D E N Intonation second edition J . K . C H A M B E R S and P . T R U D G I L L Dialectology second edition C . L Y O N S Definiteness R . K A G E R Optimality Theory J . A . H O L M An Introduction to Pidgins and Creoles C . G . C O R B E T T Number C . J . E W E N and H . V A N D E R HULST The Phonological Structure of Words F . R . P A L M E R Mood and Modality second edition B . J . B L A K E Case second edition E . G U S S M A N Phonology: Analysis and Theory M . Y I P Tone W . C R O F T Typology and Universals second edition F . C O U L M A S Writing Systems: an Introduction to their Linguistic Analysis P . J . H O P P E R and E . C . T R A U G O T T Grammaticalization second edition L . W H I T E Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar I . P L A G Word-formation in English W . C R O F T and A . C R U S E Cognitive Linguistics A . S I E W I E R S K A Person A . R A D F O R D Minimalist Syntax: Exploring the Structure of English D . BÜRING Binding Theory B. COMRIE Binding Theory D A N I E L BÜR I N G University of California, Los Angeles Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge , UK Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York Information on this title: © Daniel Büring 2005 This book is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provision of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published in print format - - ---- eBook (NetLibrary) --- eBook (NetLibrary) - - ---- hardback --- hardback - - ---- paperback --- paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of s for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this book, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate. Contents Preface page ix 1 The ABC of Binding Theory 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Preliminaries Binding ε Command and precedence ε Reflexive verbs and reflexive phraseologisms 2 Interpreting indexed structures 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Basics of interpretation Enter indexing Compositional interpretation ε Extensions and alternatives 3 Domains and orientation 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Binding domains in English: governing category Orientation Binding domains cross-linguistically Long-distance reflexives Some pronominal systems 4 Binding versus coreference 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Quantified NPs and variable binding The syntax of semantic binding Wh-expressions Summary ε Semantic details 5 Other cases of semantic binding 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Overture Focus constructions Double indexing A new system ε Verb phrase ellipsis 6 The Coreference rule 6.1 6.2 The proposal Theoretical consequences 1 1 4 12 21 25 25 26 31 40 46 46 58 65 72 75 81 83 89 93 95 96 104 104 105 109 110 114 118 118 119 vii viii CONTENTS 6.3 6.4 6.5 Binding Theory obviations Summary: the final system Extensions 7 Descriptive pronouns and individual concepts 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Anaphoric pronouns that don’t corefer Unknown and mistaken identity ε Descriptive NPs and indexing Summary An extension: unexpected sloppy identity 8 Semantic binding and c-command 8.1 8.2 8.3 The weak crossover phenomenon Blocking weak crossover A challenge: indirect binding 9 Plurals 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 The semantics of plural NPs Anaphoric relations between plural NPs Set indexation ε More on overlapping reference 10 Reciprocals 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Plural preliminaries Strong reciprocity The syntax of reciprocal binding Alternative meanings for reciprocal sentences Reflexives and reciprocals 11 Exempt anaphora and reflexivity 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Introducing exempt anaphora Conditions on exempt anaphora On the notion of higher coargument Reflexivity Theory Towards a cross-linguistic perspective 12 Binding and movement 12.1 Argument movement 12.2 Wh-movement 12.3 Analytical options 12.4 An apparent case of binding after wh-movement ¯ 12.5 A real case of interaction of A-movement and BT? 12.6 Binding without binders Bibliography Index 126 128 130 143 143 151 156 159 160 163 163 166 174 188 188 191 193 199 203 204 206 209 213 220 222 222 225 227 235 242 244 244 246 248 254 256 260 265 277 Preface This book presents a comprehensive treatment of the syntax and semantics of binding. It is meant to fill the gap between existing introductory texts, both semantic and syntactic, and the rich primary research literature on the topic. If you work your way through this book, you should be able to read and understand almost any of the works mentioned in the references. There are at least two reasons why I thought such a book may be useful. First, Binding Theory figures prominently in a vast amount of works, either as the main research topic, or, perhaps even more frequently, as a diagnostic for constituency, derivational history, and other abstract aspects of grammatical analysis. I felt that an accessible survey of some of the more recent insights into the nature of binding would benefit both those who read those studies, as well as those who want to undertake them in the future. Second, by its very nature, Binding Theory involves an equal amount of syntax and semantics. As such, it recommends itself as the topic for an advanced level textbook. There is, I believe, no insightful syntactic analysis without a solid semantics to access its adequacy; in any event, there certainly can’t be any insightful analysis of the syntax of binding without a semantics to accompany it. The present book, therefore, is an introduction to doing syntactic and semantic analysis side by side. It attempts to show you how to do semantically realistic (or responsible) analysis; it will also show you how, at least in some cases, figuring in the semantics carefully may solve some problems that would seem recalcitrant from a purely syntactic point of view. It’s good old divide et impera. The book is organized as follows: the first six chapters develop, in incremental steps, the basic system of NP classification, indexing, and interpretation. They each crucially build and expand on the content of the preceding ones, and should be tackled in that order. Chapters seven through twelve then extend the basic system in various, sometimes opposite, directions, and can be accessed mostly independently of each other; this structure is schematized in the chart below. Within chapters, certain sections are marked as  ε , for “extension”; these often contain more advanced and demanding material, and can be skipped without loss of coherence for later chapters (except possibly the  ε -parts therein). ix x PREFACE The ABC of Binding Theory Interpreting indexed structures Domains and orientation Binding versus coreference Other cases of semantic binding The Coreference rule Descriptive pronouns . . . Semantic binding and c-command Plurals Exempt anaphora Reciprocals Binding and Movement I have attempted to introduce explicitly every piece of machinery used in the analysis, and make all assumptions explicit. I have also included a fair number of exercises, especially in the earlier chapters, that should help to master the material, but also to discover problems and open ends. Despite that, I think that a certain familiarity with linguistic argumentation, as well as with formal syntactic and semantic analysis is required to read this book. Most introductory textbooks should provide the necessary background. When Cambridge University Press invited me to write this book, I had taught ‘The Syntax and Semantics of Binding Theory’ at a couple of summer schools, and the plan was essentially to flesh out the existing course materials. In the process of writing the book, more and more literature made its way into these materials, and the scope of the book extended considerably. Still, this book is not a natural history of binding phenomena, especially not cross-linguistically, and makes no claim to do justice to the vast theoretical and especially descriptive literature, of which only a fraction is taken into consideration here. While I tried to use examples from many different languages, where I had sufficient sources, the primary language analyzed is English. And even there, I found that the reported judgments are often very subtle and highly controversial. I sincerely believe now that much more systematic primary work on establishing a firm data base needs to be done; as it is, I mostly report the data as given in the literature, pointing out points of controversy, and occasionally supplementing native speaker judgments I elicited. There are also some areas that are omitted altogether in this book, mostly for reasons of space, among them the diachronic changes in anaphoric systems (van Gelderen [2000]; Keenan [2002]), as well as their acquisition in young children (Wexler and Manzini [1987], a.o.). Furthermore, older theoretical approaches to Binding Theory are not discussed, though they might often Preface facilitate understanding more recent approaches (I recommend the first chapters of Kuno [1987] for an excellent overview). More people than I can mention here have helped me in the process of writing this book. I’d like to thank in particular Ed Keenan and Philippe Schlenker, my colleagues here at ULCA, for their input, and Daniel Hole and Chris Potts for their extremely detailed comments and suggestions; thanks also to Christina Kim for helping with the final proofs. Special thanks go to Summer Kern, my Herzallerliebste, for her support, encouragement, and patience, and for always (perhaps reluctantly) being willing to double-check yet another sentence or two. xi 1 The ABC of Binding Theory 1.1 Preliminaries 1.1.1 Reference, coreference, and indexing 䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲 What is Binding Theory (BT) about? To a first approximation, BT restricts the distribution of NPs (or DPs, if you prefer) that have the same referent (starting with chapter 4, we will add non-referential NPs to the picture, which will be ignored until then). We will indicate sameness of reference, coreference for short, by coindexing; that is, coreferent NPs carry the same index, for which we use integers throughout. Thus in (1.1), the NP the baroness and the NP she are coindexed, which signals that they are coreferent, which in turn means that they have the same referent – they refer to the same person or thing – namely the actual baroness in flesh and blood: (1.1) After [ N P the baroness]1 had visited the lord, [ N P she]1 left the house. Note that on this understanding, BT is relevant for nominal categories only, and only for the maximal projections, i.e. NPs.1 As a convention we assume that two NPs corefer if and only if (iff) they are coindexed. Contra-indexing (or lack of an index on either NP) indicates non-coreference. This is illustrated in (1.2): (1.2) (a) (b) After [ N P the baroness]2 had visited the lord, she2 left the house. (she=the baroness) After [ N P the baroness]1 had visited the lord, [ N P she]2 left the house. (she=the baroness) It should be noted that the actual choice of integer is irrelevant; (1.1) expresses the same coreference pattern as (1.2a) (as would any sentence in which both occurrences of the index are replaced by the same integer). An NP marked 1 is in no sense prior, higher, or superior to one marked 2. All that matters is which NPs have the same index, and which do not. 1 The latter aspect I consider a genuine fact about Binding Theory. On the view pursued here, indexing on non-maximal projections (e.g. signalling specifier-head agreement or head-movement dependencies) simply is not subject to Binding Theory and should be kept separate from it. As for the former aspects, though there are sentential and adverbial (i.e. PP-) anaphors, little work on their distribution has been done, and we will ignore them here (see e.g. Hegarty et al. [2001] and the references therein). 1 2 THE ABC OF BINDING THEORY In traditional grammars, the NP the baroness in (1.1) is referred to as the antecedent of the pronoun she. We adopt the following: (1.3) Definition: Antecedent A is the antecedent of B iff (if and only if) (i) A precedes B, and (ii) A and B corefer. By our convention, an NP will be coindexed with its antecedent (if it has one). This holds for coreferring NPs within a single sentence, and across sentences. The latter, however, are usually not subject to Binding Conditions of the sort discussed here.2 1.1.2 The basic data 䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲 Restricting our attention to singular NPs for the time being, two NPs in a given sentence will show one of three logically possible coreference relations (Reinhart, 1983a: 29): (1.4) (a) (b) (c) obligatory coreference: obligatory non-coreference: optional coreference: Zelda bores herself. She adores Zelda’s teachers. Zelda adores her teachers. Given what was said before, grammatical representations for these will look like in (1.5): (1.5) (a) (b) (c) Zelda1 bores herself1 . She8 adores Zelda15 ’s teachers. Zelda4 adores her4 teachers. Zelda4 adores her7 teachers. or Ungrammatical representations for (1.4a) and (1.4b) are given in (1.6): (1.6) (a) ∗Zelda1 bores herself2 . (b) ∗She8 adores Zelda8 ’s teachers. It will be convenient to summarize patterns as in (1.5) and (1.6) as shown in (1.7), whose logic should be transparent: (1.7) (a) (b) (c) Zelda1 bores herself1/∗2 . She8 adores Zelda15/∗8 ’s teachers. Zelda4 adores her4/7 teachers. The key insight captured in BT is that the (un)availability of coreference between two NPs crucially depends on two factors: 2 See e.g. Grosz et al. (1995); Gundel et al. (1993); Walker et al. (1998) and the references therein for some discussion of trans-sentential anaphora. 1.1 Preliminaries • • the morphological shape of the NPs the structural relation between the NPs This is not meant to exclude the possibility of additional factors that influence coreference options (which will be discussed especially in chapters 3 and 11). First, however, we will introduce the relevant NP-types of English and then, in turn, explore and characterize the syntactic configurations in which they require, allow, or disallow coreference. 1.1.3 Three types of NPs 䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲䡲 Virtually all approaches to BT in English distinguish three types of NPs by (mostly) morphosyntactic criteria. These are illustrated in (1.8a–1.8c): (1.8) (a) (b) (c) reflexives and reciprocals (‘anaphors’): himself, herself, itself, themselves, myself, yourself, ourselves, yourselves each other, one another non-reflexive pronouns (‘pronominals’): he, she, it, him, her, I, us, you, me, his, your, my, our full NPs including names (‘r-expressions’): the baroness, Peter, this, a disinherited Russian countess . . . In parentheses I have given the terms for these categories as used in the influential work of Chomsky (e.g. 1981) and his school: anaphor, pronominal, and r-expression (with r reminiscent of ‘referential’). For the first two, a cautionary remark is in order, because they unfortunately provide potential for confusion: traditionally the term anaphor (often with the plural anaphors rather than anaphora) is used for any NP, reflexive or not, that has an antecedent. Likewise, the term pronominal invites confusion with the traditional notion of pronoun, which applies to reflexive and non-reflexive pronouns alike. We will thus stick to the terms ‘reflexive/reciprocal’, ‘non-reflexive pronoun’, and ‘full NP’ in the remainder of this book. We will now motivate this tripartition, starting with reflexives versus the rest (reciprocals, being necessarily plural, will not be discussed until chapter 10). Consider the sentences in (1.9): (1.9) (a) That it rains bothers Peter. (b) That it rains bothers her/him. (c) ∗That it rains bothers himself/herself. All these sentences contain but one referential NP (the expletive it is of no interest to BT, since it lacks a referent – and perhaps semantic content in general). We can thus omit the indexing for expository convenience, given that no coreference is involved. We simply observe that reflexives cannot occur in this configuration, while both non-reflexive pronouns and full NPs can. 3 4 THE ABC OF BINDING THEORY Table 1.1 Distribution of the three NP-types configuration ex. reflexive non-reflexive full NP no antecedent non-local antecedent local antecedent (1.9) (1.11) (1.10) ∗ ∗ ok ok ok ∗ ok ∗ ∗ Inversely, only reflexives, but neither non-reflexives nor full NPs, are permitted in (1.10): (1.10) (a) ∗Peter3 watches Peter3 in the mirror. (b) ∗Peter3 watches him3 in the mirror. (c) Peter3 watches hims...
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