Focus on reflexive anaphors

Giorgos Spathas


Focus related phenomena have long been used to draw conclusions about the syntax and semantics of anaphora. I use examples in which focus is the result of information-structural considerations to argue for a semantics of reflexive anaphors. I show that a theory that treats reflexive anaphors as reflexivizing functions is empirically superior to theories that interpret them like variables. The discussion also leads to some interesting conclusions about focus theory. It is argued that the domain of application of the relevant information-structural notion should be limited to verb phrases and sentences and that the relevant economy condition should be localized accordingly.


reflexives; focus; givenness; binding theory

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