Principle A and feature valuation

Andrei Antonenko


Traditional binding theory is largely incompatible with minimalist assumptions. In this paper I propose an analysis of anaphoric binding based on a feature-checking mechanism (Pesetsky and Torrego 2007), by introducing the feature ⟨ρ⟩, a formalization of the reflexivity proposal of Reinhart and Reuland 1993. I argue that the ⟨ρ⟩ feature is responsible for establishing coreference between an anaphor and its antecedent, by being present and valued on reflexives while being unvalued on a higher phrasal head. Valuation of ⟨ρ⟩ under Agree results in the introduction of a λ -operator, which binds the reflexive variable, thereby establishing the coreference between an anaphor and its antecedent. I further demonstrate how this revision of binding theory can derive subject orientation of monomorphemic anaphors, Barss- Lasnik effects, and restrict at which moment of derivation binding theory can apply. In conclusion I show some novel asymmetries observed in wh-dislocated reflexives in English vs. Russian indirect questions.


binding theory; minimalist program; reflexives; principle A

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