Crossover and ethical pronouns in Brazilian Portuguese

Ana C Bastos-Gee


Ethical pronouns, used to express that someone is negatively affected by the content of the main assertion, cannot co-refer with referential elements in the same clause in Brazilian Portuguese. I propose a syntactic account for this constraint in co-reference by showing that ethical pronouns undergo A’-movement to a projection in the split IP system (called OrientP), in order to check a feature [+S] related to the sentential force and speaker orientation. While undergoing this movement, if the ethical pronoun crosses a co-indexed phrase, it causes a strong crossover violation in the sense of Postal 1971, Wasow 1972, Lasnik 1976.

Full Text: