LINGUIST List 14.153

Thu Jan 16 2003

Diss: Pan "Locality, Self-Ascription..."

Editor for this issue: Karolina Owczarzak <>


  1. cthpan, Syntax: Pan "Locality, Self-Ascription..."

Message 1: Syntax: Pan "Locality, Self-Ascription..."

Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 19:18:07 +0000
From: cthpan <>
Subject: Syntax: Pan "Locality, Self-Ascription..."

New Dissertation Abstract

Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Program: Department of Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 1995

Author: Haihua Pan 

Dissertation Title: 
Locality, Self-Ascription, Discourse Prominence, and Mandarin Reflexives

Dissertation URL:

Linguistic Field: Syntax

Subject Language: Chinese, Mandarin (code: 1220)

Dissertation Director 1: Manfred Krifka
Dissertation Director 2: Robert Simmons
Dissertation Director 3: Carl Lee Baker
Dissertation Director 4: Steven Wechsler

Dissertation Abstract: 

Mandarin reflexive 'ziji' has challenged many syntacticians to probe
for its properties, specifically its relationship to Binding Condition
A (BCA), which dictates that an anaphor must be bound by a
syntactically prominent (or c-commanding) noun phrase in a very local
domain (Governing Category or GC). The basic strategy employed by most
analyses is to try to show that BCA also applies to 'ziji', even
though 'ziji' apparently violates it by allowing long-distance
binding. Based on textual search of large corpora on the usage of
'ziji', 'benren', 'beshen', zishen', and their compound forms, this
thesis claims that a semantic factor 'self-ascription' and a discourse
factor 'prominence' play an essential role in the interpretation of
Mandarin reflexives. 

Following the spirit of Baker (1994) who makes a fundamenntal
distinction between syntactic binding and discourse prominence,
this thesis argues for the separation of contrastive and
non-contrastive reflexives. While members of the former are
constrained by discourse prominnence, members of the latter are
constrained by either locality or self-ascription.
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