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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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Antecedence: Some Theoretical Considerations

Antecedence: Some Theoretical Considerations

(p.25) 4 Antecedence: Some Theoretical Considerations

Chris Collins

Paul M. Postal

The MIT Press

This chapter provides a theoretical account of antecedence in order to show how the structures of imposters and camouflage determiner phrases (DPs) play a role in determining pronominal agreement. Traditional grammar appealed to a concept of antecedent that relates certain pronominal forms to other expressions. Whereas the traditional notion of antecedent is clearly asymmetric in nature, coindexing gives rise to a symmetric, reflexive relation between DP nodes/occurrences. Moreover, the antecedence relation holds in cases where binding does not exist due to the absence of c-command. The chapter examines antecedence based on the following foundational assumptions: existence, the obligatory antecedence of pronominals, asymmetry, transitivity, and linearity. It argues that pronominal agreement should be stated in terms of antecedence. It also discusses first and second person pronominals, Principles A, B, and C of the binding theory, split antecedence, the relation between antecedence and semantic interpretation, and imposters versus DPs referring to speaker/addressee.

Keywords:   antecedence, imposters, determiner phrases, pronominal agreement, grammar, coindexing, linearity, binding theory, split antecedence, semantic interpretation

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