Complements and modifiers: Implications for typologies of pronouns


  • Ivona Ilic Humboldt University of Berlin



pronouns, adnominal pronouns, binding, complements, modifiers, determiners


This paper argues for a distinction between two categorially distinct types of personal pronouns in natural language. It demonstrates that overt nominal content surfaces as (i) a complement or (ii) a modifier of a personal pronoun. The distinction in the way nominal content merges is reflected in two types of pronouns. Pronouns taking nominal complements are full-fledged determiners, while pronouns surfacing with nominal modifiers are pronouns proper, i.e., pronominal forms that do not exhibit the determiner syntax. Four novel diagnostics underlying the complement/modifier distinction are introduced: (i) binding, (ii) genericity requirement, (iii) availability of pro-drop, and (iv) size of the pronoun. The paper contributes to a longstanding debate on the representation of nominal content in pronouns and a close connection between pronominal forms and determiners.




How to Cite

Ilic, Ivona. 2024. “Complements and Modifiers: Implications for Typologies of Pronouns”. Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America 9 (1): 5720.