Towards an etiology of outer indices


Must reflexive pronouns always interpreted as semantically bound by their local antecedents, as the conventional wisdom would have it? No: that is what we learn from ECM subject reflexives. A theory that hopes to deal with these reflexives adequately must allow for the broader range of interpretive possibilities that comes about when the local antecedents of reflexive pronouns are associated with mismatching inner and outer binding indices (in the sense of Heim 1993). In this case, reflexives reveal the ability to be coreferential or co-bound with their local antecedents, rather than strictly semantically bound by them.
The tasks are then two-fold: to explain where the mismatching outer indices come from, and to explain why mismatches between inner and outer indices are not tolerated in all cases of reflexive binding. My suggestion on the first count goes by way of a crucially syntactic component for the binding theory. Index features are present in syntax and transferred by Agree between DPs and the functional heads that attract them. My suggestion on the second count puts together Reinhart’s (1983a, 1983b) idea that semantic binding is preferred by linguistic systems with Johnson’s (2007) view that we find locality domains in grammar by considering the domains that are relevant for the evaluation of interface constraints.

Publication date: 
January 1, 2017
Publication type: 
Recent Publication
Deal, Amy Rose.2017. Towards an etiology of outer indices. In Nicholas LaCara, Keir Moulton, and Anne-Michelle Tessier (eds.), A Schrift to Fest Kyle Johnson, pp. 107-117. Linguistics Open Access Publications, Vol 1.