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LINGUIST List 22.2944

Tue Jul 19 2011

Diss: Syntax: Loss: 'Iron Range English Long-Distance Reflexives'

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        1.     Sara Loss , Iron Range English Long-Distance Reflexives

Message 1: Iron Range English Long-Distance Reflexives
Date: 18-Jul-2011
From: Sara Loss <schm1538umn.edu>
Subject: Iron Range English Long-Distance Reflexives
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Institution: University of Minnesota at Twin Cities
Program: Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Sara Schmelzer Loss

Dissertation Title: Iron Range English Long-Distance Reflexives

Linguistic Field(s): Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Hooi Ling Soh
Benjamin Munson
Jean-Philippe Marcotte
Jeanette K Gundel

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation investigates the distribution of Iron Range English (IRE)
reflexives, using judgments collected in a Magnitude Estimation Task (Bard
et al 1996), and presents a phase-based analysis for their distribution.
IRE reflexives (e.g., himself) can corefer with nominal expressions outside
their minimal clause in subject or object position. Coreference with an
expression outside the minimal clause is not acceptable in two
environments: (i) if there is an intervening subject that does not match
the reflexive for person (c.f., Blocking Effects in Mandarin) or (ii) if
the reflexive is in an island.

The distribution of IRE reflexives is unexpected because generally only
monomorphemic reflexives behave this way (Pica 1987). Complex reflexives
that behave this way, such as Malay diri-nya 'himself/herself' (Cole &
Hermon 2003) and Turkish kendi-sin 'himself/herself' (Kornfilt 2001), are
shown to have pronominal qualities. IRE reflexives do not have pronominal
qualities since they exhibit Blocking Effects and island effects.
Therefore, they are true long-distance reflexives.

Blocking and island effects provide evidence that the reflexive undergoes
raising to [Spec, CP], as is suggested for long-distance reflexives in
other languages (e.g., Katada 1991). From the [Spec, CP] position, the
reflexive is able to corefer with a nominal expression in a higher clause,
in accordance with the Phase Impenetrability Condition (Chomsky 2001). Two
processes are needed to account for the distribution of IRE long-distance
reflexives (c.f., Cole & Wang 1996) since the set of expressions that are
potential antecedents and the set of expressions that trigger Blocking
Effects are not the same: a reflexive can corefer with a subject or an
object, but only subjects trigger Blocking Effects. I posit that reflexives
have a [VAR] feature that must be valued by a c-commanding nominal
expression within the same phase via Agree, extending Hicks' (2009)
analysis of English anaphors. Agree accounts for coreference and offers an
inherent c-command relationship between the antecedent and reflexive. I
account for Blocking Effects by considerably modifying Hasegawa's (2005)
analysis for English anaphors. I suggest that a [+multi] feature on T
licenses the reflexive and requires that the reflexive and the subject
Agree for person.

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