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ImpostersA Study of Pronominal Agreement$
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Chris Collins and Paul M. Postal

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262016889

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262016889.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction

Chris Collins

Paul M. Postal

The MIT Press

A speaker normally refers to himself or herself using first person singular pronominals such as I, me, my, mine, or myself. To refer to a single addressee, a speaker uses second person singular pronouns such as you, your, yours, or yourself. However, third person nonpronominal determiner phrases (DPs) are sometimes used to refer to the speaker, such as this reporter or yours truly. These DPs are termed “imposters,” the grammatical status of which is the subject of this book. In particular, the book shows that imposters have a more complex syntactic structure than any DPs they may be homophonous with. Imposter expressions such as yours truly denote the speaker, whose forms are distinct from those of ordinary third person DPs. All English imposters determine third person verbal agreement. The book offers examples to illustrate the wide scope of the imposter phenomenon in English.

Keywords:   imposters, pronominals, verbal agreement, determiner phrases, syntactic structure, addressee, pronouns

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