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LINGUIST List 21.3741

Wed Sep 22 2010

Diss: Syntax: Hicks: 'The Derivation of Anaphoric Relations'

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        1.    Glyn Hicks, The Derivation of Anaphoric Relations

Message 1: The Derivation of Anaphoric Relations
Date: 21-Sep-2010
From: Glyn Hicks <Glyn.Hickssoton.ac.uk>
Subject: The Derivation of Anaphoric Relations
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Institution: University of York
Program: Department of Language and Linguistic Science
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2006

Author: Glyn Hicks

Dissertation Title: The Derivation of Anaphoric Relations

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Subject Language(s): Dutch (nld)
                            English (eng)
                            Icelandic (isl)
                            Norwegian, BokmÃ¥l (nob)

Dissertation Director:
George Tsoulas
Bernadette Plunkett

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis develops an analysis of the binding theory within the
Minimalist approach to the architecture of the language faculty. As an
expression of the principles governing the distribution and referential
dependencies of reflexives, pronouns, and referential-expressions, the
binding theory has proved a highly successful and influential outcome
of the generative programme. However, given the central Minimalist
conjecture that the computational system is strictly derivational
(non-representational), the binding theory has become one of the most
problematic modules of the grammar, relying crucially on
syntactically active constraints defined over representations of sentences.

I aim to capture a range of crosslinguistic empirical facts previously
attributed to Conditions A and B of the binding theory, armed only with
purely derivational concepts and a generalised derivational domain: the
'phase'. It is argued that binding relations are essentially determined in
the computational component of the grammar, and substantial evidence is
provided against viewing the binding conditions as interpretive
instructions applying at LF. I argue that the binding conditions' effects
can instead be determined by the core operations Agree and Merge, with
previously stipulated constraints on binding, including C-command and
locality, falling out naturally from this analysis. Moreover, the strategy
of reducing the local binding conditions to more general mechanisms leads
to an elimination of the binding theory as a component of Universal Grammar.

Independently motivated modification to the canonical implementation of the
Minimalist model are shown to furnish the approach with sufficient
flexibility to account for some long-problematic empirical phenomena. This
includes a complete treatment of 'picture-noun' reflexivisation in English
and an account of the syntactic environments giving rise to
non-complementarity between anaphors and pronouns.

Finally, proposals are made for extending the approach to accommodate
structured crosslinguistic variation in binding domains and orientation
phenomena, with particular focus on Dutch, Norwegian, and Icelandic
pronominal systems.

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