Graded complementarity in the resolution of pronouns and reflexives


  • Lucas Fagen University of Chicago
  • Ming Xiang University of Chicago



pronoun resolution, reflexivity, binding theory, experimental syntax


This paper presents an experimental evaluation of how pronoun and reflexive resolution preferences in English vary across different syntactic environments. Five structures were tested: coarguments, picture noun phrases, prepositional phrases, coordination, and comparatives. Results show that reflexives display a general preference for structurally local antecedents, but the strength of the preference varies significantly by environment; pronouns display a similarly variable, but stronger preference for nonlocal antecedents. Our findings suggest that complementarity between pronouns and reflexives may be a gradient phenomenon, with the robust complementarity observed in coargument anaphora occupying the endpoint of a graded continuum.




How to Cite

Fagen, Lucas, and Ming Xiang. 2024. “Graded Complementarity in the Resolution of Pronouns and Reflexives”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 9 (1): 5697.