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LINGUIST List 24.1283

Thu Mar 14 2013

Diss: Discourse Analysis/Morphology/Pragmatics/Semantics/Syntax: Sundaresan: 'Context and (Co)reference in the Syntax and its Interfaces'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <lxialinguistlist.org>

Date: 14-Mar-2013
From: Sandhya Sundaresan <sandhya.sundaresanuit.no>
Subject: Context and (Co)reference in the Syntax and its Interfaces
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Institution: University of Tromsø
Program: Center for Advanced Study in Theoretical Linguistics
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2012

Author: Sandhya Sundaresan

Dissertation Title: Context and (Co)reference in the Syntax and its Interfaces

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Morphology
                            Pragmatics
                            Semantics
                            Syntax

Dissertation Director:
Artemis Alexiadou
Gillian Catriona Ramchand

Dissertation Abstract:

It is well known that referentially defective nominals fall into two broad categories:
pro-forms whose reference seems structurally constrained (local anaphors, OC
PRO) and those which are discourse-pragmatically conditioned (logophors,
deictic pronouns, indexicals). Nevertheless, a strict binary distinction cannot be
maintained because most actually straddle the syntax-discourse divide: e.g.
deictic pronouns can be variable-bound, indexicals may be “shifted” under
certain intensional operators, and logophors and long-distance anaphors often
look and behave alike. The central thesis of this dissertation is that a proper
subset of pro- forms can receive a unified analysis under an enriched
grammatical model that posits the syntactic representation of mental and/or
spatio-temporal perspective. To this end, I present novel evidence from verbal
agreement triggered under anaphora to show that even so-called “logophoric”
reference involves an indelible syntactic core. I propose that perspective is
featurally represented on a silent pronominal operator in the specifier of a
Perspectival phrase (PerspP) at the phasal-edge of certain CPs, PPs, DPs, and
AspPs and may be exploited to yield a unified account of anaphora and
agreement patterns triggered under it. Anaphora involves two distinct
dependencies: an Agree relationship between the anaphor and the operator in the
[Spec, PerspP] of its minimal phase, which is the equivalent of syntactic binding,
and a conceptual relationship between the antecedent and this operator, which is
the equivalent of non-obligatory control. Thus, all binding is local and syntactic; all
antecedence is non-local and (primarily) non-syntactic. I also illustrate that
perspective must be kept conceptually and structurally distinct from the
Kaplanian utterance context and the intensional “context” responsible for
indexical shift. The main language of investigation is the Dravidian language
Tamil but crosslinguistic comparisons are made with: Abe, Aghem, Amharic,
Czech, Donna SO, Dutch (standard and Brabant), English, French, German,
Greek, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Malayalam, Mupun,
Navajo, North Sami, Norwegian, Romanian, Russian, Slave, Swahili, Telugu,
Uyghur, Zapotec and Zazaki. The Tamil judgments are bolstered by the results
of an online survey conducted among 38 native speakers around the world.



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